March 6, 2023

I built a whole book blog system

You might remember my ramblings about how I’m starting to get the hang of web development and actually having fun with it, right?

Well, what can I say. I did what I set out to do when I cancelled my Webflow powered book blog because of their insane pricing: I learned how to program and built my own. It’s a lot faster, has more features and doesn’t cost me anything.

You can play around with it here: buch.fyi
I haven’t written any opinions for books read in 2022/23 but everything else should be there.

  • After talking to friends about how I don’t understand how a React application can securely use API keys and secret data like that, they pointed me in the general direction of Next.js and explained server side rendering to me. I worked through the documentation and built buch.fyi on top of it. Since I love life on the cutting edge, I’m using Next.js 13 with the new /app folder structure.
  • While doing so I discovered that I don’t need any API keys or databases at all. It’s all markdown files, baby!
  • It’s all TypeScript! Look at me, writing typed code. All type saved up in here.
  • I’m still using TailwindCSS for everything CSS related. It’s just fun to use, I’ll refresh my classic CSS knowledge when the time comes.
  • Some transitions are using Framer Motion, which is as complex as it’s amazing.
  • The book covers show up thanks to Open Library’s Covers API. That’s me, casually using an API to mix and match data!
  • It’s all hosted on Vercel. I don’t understand why it’s free and how they manage to make everything as sleek as it is but I’m a fan. It’s incredible.
  • I even learned how to create a RSS feed! Look at https://buch.fyi/feed and tell me this isn’t the best feed you’ve ever seen me create.

This may sound weird but I can’t wait to see what I’m doing next. So many possibilities! So much stuff to play around with!

February 19, 2023

Maybe web development is kind of fun

Okay, hear me out. Web development is actually kind of fun. I mentioned that I worked through The Joy of React recently and while the course managed to transfer a lot of valuable knowledge, it didn’t do a great job at keeping me motivated. 

I’m not one of those people waiting for motivation to magically hit me. I know that it’s something you create by actually sitting down and doing the work. Nevertheless, something about the course constantly trying to trick me into working on something it hasn’t taught me before, made me just watch the solution videos before actually trying to solve the problems. I knew that I could not possibly know the “right” solution, so I stopped trying.¬†That resulted in me finishing the course without applying most of the things it covered.

https://yourplate.vercel.app/

100 Days of SwiftUI‘s approach worked far better for me. It covered a couple of concepts, then gave me a challenge and told me that I already know everything needed to solve it properly. I knew that it’s completely my fault if I don’t manage to come up with a solution and I also knew that I only had to re-watch the previous lessons to stumble upon the answer at some point. That’s motivating! Telling me that I’m theoretically able to solve the challenges gave me enough confidence to sit down and try until something worked.

So here’s how I got over my disgruntled and unmotivated “Web dev sucks” state: 

I forced myself to build something.

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