I set out to use what I learned about javascript from my internship at ISE to create a responsive blog style portfolio using a static site generator. The goal was to host it for free on GitHub pages alongside its source code, to allow for easy and immediate editing from anywhere, and to contribute to open source projects along the way.

My Initial Approach:

Before beginning my internship, I created a small site using only vanilla HTML + CSS. Funny to look back at it now and consider how many unnecessary and completely inaccessible animations I chose to include.

First attempt - Summer 2017

With no version control and no templates, sure hosting was incredibly simple (I used to host out of my personal Dropbox account), but nothing about the design allowed me to change content quickly, and the pages were completely unresponsive on anything but one zoom level of desktop.

Fast Forward:

One year later, with a solid understanding of git and various JS frameworks and a better eye for design, I began working on a site based on Louis Barranqueiro’s excellent Hexo theme Tranquilpeak.

Now the site is hosted alongside its source code on GitHub in an NPM package.

My lighthouse score - May 2019My lighthouse score - May 2019

Open Source Contributions:

My implementation of video tags took the longest to complete, and hopefully should be merged in soon. Identifying a valuable improvement, iterating on the idea upon review, writing up documentation, and providing a demo page for the feature took a good amount of time outside of classes, but I’m looking forward to contributing more now that I have some experience.

What I Learned:

  • Using JS to write HTML taught me more than writing it plainly
  • Engaging with other contributors results in me pushing myself to learn more
  • The beginning fundamentals of a11y
  • CDN best practices
  • Faster Photoshop workflows
  • How to manage traffic and implement trackers on google analytics
  • Device responsive styling
  • Have patience with those reviewing your contributions. They’re doing it solely out of kindness and most likely have a full-time job.

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to being able to pick up some issues on a larger project now that I’m quite a bit more comfortable. Hopefully, I can find something interesting to possibly maintain, outside of work + classwork.