Every time I want to learn a new technology I build a small side project. Building something from scratch is one of the best ways to learn new skills and improve the ones you already know. Tutorials are a good starting point but they are designed to work perfectly, so you usually don't face any challenges. Building something on your own is much harder. You will hit real-life problems on the way and you will need to solve them to keep going.
This website is a side project I use to learn new things. It had many versions with many different stacks, and I'm always recreating and updating it to try out a new framework or tool.
This time, I used some technologies I wanted to try for a while but didn't have the opportunity to work with them. I also used some tools I didn't even know when I started working on this new version. Here are the most relevant ones:
- React + Typescript: This is a combination I've been using for a while and I'm happy with it.
- Next.js: React framework I had never worked with, but always heard good things about it. It was a very nice experience.
- Tailwind CSS: A utility-first CSS framework. In my last projects, I used Styled Components, and this time I decided to choose something different. I felt that even learning the classes' names on the go it was easy and fast to work with Tailwind.
- ESLint + Prettier: To enforce code quality and styles, these are one of the first things I configure when starting a new project.
- Husky: To run tests, lints, and formatters using a pre-commit hook. This way I'm able to get errors as soon as possible.
- Framer Motion: React Animation library. I found this one by accident and I was impressed by how much cool things you can do with it. At the time of this writing, I'm just using it to make a fade in/out effect during page navigation.
- Jest + React Testing Library: My go-to tools for unit testing.
- Unified: The blog posts are written in markdown and this tool, combined with some plugins, is used to transform them into HTML during build time.
- Prismjs: Syntax highlighter for code blocks.
And here a the list of services:
- Github: Where I host my personal projects.
- Vercel: Easy and simple deployments using Github integration.
The design and layout inspiration came from the websites of other developers like (Kent C Dodds, Zeno Rocha, and Dan Abramov). The colors I'm using, at least for now, are just the default palette provided by Tailwind CSS, which is pretty good! This project also features a light/dark theme that changes automatically based on the system configuration.
I learned a lot of cool things while implementing this project, and I plan to keep playing with it so I can experiment and learn even more things. If you haven't built something from scratch I highly recommend you give it a try. You'll be amazed by how many things you'll learn along the way.
You can view this website's source code on Github if you are interested.