Mike MJ Harris

Building a blog


Blogs come in all shapes and sizes - timeless theological musings, eccentric tantrums, incisive analysis, self important puffing - the whole slice of humanity in short online snippets. But the saddest blog is the blog that starts off with a fanfare, with a page of intent and promises of life changing posts to come. This sad blog has one follow up post and then silence.

Coming up with something to write about is hard. Then you have to write again. And again. And be interesting and readable and worth the pain of drafting and thinking and editing and just everything.

So here I am wanting to write about tech - a broad, sprawling topic. How can to be profligate and push past the token intro and give this project a fighting chance of surviving? Build something. Write about it. Build something with all those shiny tech tools I use. Write about how I designed and build a web app, about the pain and problems that dog any project, about the new things I've learnt along the way or maybe just how that foolproof piece of regex wasn't so fool proof. Build. Write.

Great, fantastic, awesome! Build. Write. Write Build.

Build what....?

The list of things I want to build is long. The list of things that others want me to build is even longer. But wouldn't it be great if the project I built and wrote about I could guarantee the reader had experienced. They could see and understand the design decisions, they would feel the bugs and the pain and could validate if I had overcome those. Wouldn't it be great if I could blog about building a blog?

Yes it does sound like a whole load of meta, east London, extra skinny flat white, self indulgent bs. But I've already built an mvp of the blog - look it’s glowing at you from your screen. You're reading it now. It is a side project squeezed into the small gaps that life sometimes provided but it does give an idea of the thoughts and process that I put into building a project. There were some interesting decisions along the way, I discovered some new tools and had problems to overcome. I’m still iterating and improving. I reckon there are enough navel gazing, meta posts in this project to pollinate the blog and hope it is flourishes into something beautiful.

I'll talk a little about everything from front end to backend, data storage to design choices, api to version control and my home brewed continuous integration solution. Let’s hope I can balance tweaking the code and actually writing words.