off we go

I've wanted to start a blog for a while. I'm not sure how far I'll go with it or what will become of it. I've gone through iteration after iteration in several content management systems and blogging platforms (Expression Engine, Wordpress, Jekyll) and even tried to write my own with PHP/MySQL.

I've had some successes along the way and learned a good bit but I found myself stuck either on design or I'd be frustrated with something technical. Whether it was my date sorting mechanism failing in my homegrown PHP-based CMS or I was unsatisfied with the visual design of what I came up with1, I could never seem to get something off the ground.

It has literally been years in the making and finally after doing a bit of reading I realized I need to just do this thing. I realized that my end-goal was blogging, not really having a home-grown solution. I wanted to learn in the process and I certainly had. It's that I don't want to build a content management system. I managed to dive in with a bit of PHP, Node, and server configuration along the way. I'd say it's a successful lesson learned. So with that in mind, I started on Jekyll then quickly moved to Octopress at the recommendation of Andrew Theroux (@theroux).

I've used Ruby Gems in the past but only to the extent of using $ gem install foo. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff. Octopress was similar but it had a few extra steps that I needed to dive into. I had to upgrade Ruby since my MacBook had 1.8.3 and Octopress required 1.9.2. Luckily Octopress is very clearly documented and before long, I was headed in the direction of RVM. This made upgrading a breeze and made me thankful that there are a lot of people in the web community who know a lot more than I do.

I'm hosting this badboy on Heroku and using github as a backup. In the future, I hope to write about what I'm learning in my new-ish job at nclud. I also want to customize the look and feel of this thing since right now it's just the default skin, and I can hopefully dive into the source of this thing a bit to customize it to my needs.

{% img /images/site/defaultskin.png [looks good but I want to play with the look of it [the default skin for Octopress] %}

We'll see where this goes!

1. I like designing in code but I have high standards and my ability for visual design is lacking. I'm actively working on it and always trying to push myself to not settle.