Hey, I made a blog! (finally)

April 24, 2019

This blog has been in the making for several years. It’s a good thing though it lasted that long since I now feel like I have something actually interesting to write about.

Hi, my name is Matti and I’m a software developer. In addition to having a day job as a programmer, I also code for a hobby, contribute to open source projects and read a lot about programming.

During my over 10 years in the industry, there have been times when programming was just a 9-to-5 day job. Lately, it has become so much more. I still don’t like to work late at nights. I’m not a workaholic but coding is something of a calling for me.

Less Code Is More

That said you might be confused about the title of the blog. For someone who loves to code it seems contradictory to advocate for writing less code. But for me, Less Code is More is an important ground rule when developing new apps and systems.

If you’re interested, the origin of the title comes from a talk a gave at TechDays 2018 in Helsinki. The title of the talk was mind-boggling Forget the Web Backend: Static Serverless and Client-Side Code FTW!. But there was one slide that I liked so much in its simplicity that it stuck with me and when it was time to come up with a name for the blog it immediately came to my mind.

Less Code Is More

This is a topic I will be coming back to often on this blog. In a nutshell, it is all about decreasing the TCO (total cost of ownership) since code is a liability and it also means that the code that IS still written is more important.

The Big Picture

Another thing that will be mentioned often on this blog is something I’ve dubbed The Big Picture. For me, it simply means all the things that I’m interested in software development intervened together.

For a long time now I’ve been thinking about how I could combine functional programming, serverless, web development, and machine learning.

Some of these are easier to combine than others. For example, web development and functional programming are almost a pair already. JavaScript programming is very functional-style and there are many even more functional languages for developing web apps such as Elm, ReasonML, and Fable (F#).

Serverless and web development is also pretty much a thing already. There are a lot of reference projects about how to write a backend web API using AWS Lambda. Examples can also be found for Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions.

One thing that I still have to work on is how to integrate machine learning to all of this. Or maybe I should instead talk about deep learning? I have to admit this is not my strong suit, but it’s one of the most interesting fields of software development at the moment. I have done some tutorials about how to do machine learning with F# so I have seen how you can combine machine learning and functional programming.

But like I said more of this will be coming later…

The making of …

I can’t end this blog post without mentioning some of the cool tech that was used to make this blog.

Figma

https://www.figma.com

Figma is a cool design tool I used when I was first just brainstorming ideas for the look of my blog. Later I used it to design the details and for example the header text.

I had long been interested in Sketch but it was not available on Windows so when I heard about Figma and how it could do what Sketch does and more and was available as an app on Windows and on web, I wanted to give it a try.

I can’t say I’m an expert on Figma or even an intermediate user. It did seem to have a bit of a learning curve. Most of my experience in web design is from more than 10 years ago and it was mostly done with Photoshop. But after getting acquainted with it, we started to get along really well.

Gatsby

https://www.gatsbyjs.org/

Ever since I learned about Gatsby, I’ve been sold about if I ever wrote a blog, I would do it with Gatsby. The idea of static site generators is genius in my opinion and React is my personal favorite UI framework. Gatsby combines these two and promises a blazing fast user experience as well.

Getting started with Gatsby is really easy, there is even a starter pack for creating a blog. But the deeper you go and start to do things that require more documentation dwelling the more you realize that like most things, Gatsby is not just what meets the eye.

All in all I absolutely love the fact that my blog consists of React components and markdown files.

Netlify

https://www.netlify.com/

Out of the things that I used to make this blog, Netlify has to be the thing that makes me most happy. It is really easy to get a website going with Netlify. I strongly suggest you give it a try especially if you’re using a static site generator like Gatsby.

It also is a very cheap way to host a site. I choose the free plan and only thing I’ve paid for so far has been the custom domain.

Summary

If you’ve read this far then great! This blog has been a dream of mine for so many years now, it seems amazing that it’s finally a reality. I really hope I can keep up posting more stuff here and gain more readers meanwhile.

Keep hacking ✌


Matti Petrelius

Written by Matti Petrelius who is a fan of serverless and other cool things.