I wouldn't have predicted when I started my first web development job in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the late 1990s, years later in 2023, I would still be developing web sites. I've seen a lot change over the years with the web and its technologies.
It's been exciting, daunting, challenging, uplifting, frustrating, but most of all rewarding over these many years learning to become a web developer. Indeed, learning is an integral part of my regular workflow and I am blessed with being able to practice my craft daily. As a random example, just yesterday, I learned how to render JSON data in a Twig Template within Pattern Lab. I never would have imagined such a thing, even a short time ago.
What's Old is New
As I write on this new blog I've designed and developed on Jekyll, I've realized that things have come full circle in a way. Jekyll generates static HTML which is what we first started with all those years ago, before the age of the CMS.
The difference nowadays, we can craft a sophisticated and automated build process utilizing things like Grunt, Gulp, Node, NPM, BrowserSync, and Sass. In a website build, we implement modern technologies such as Responsive Web Design, SVG, rich media experiences, and mobile first to name a few. We have intricate workflows and deploy processes leveraging Git version control.
The CMS & Beyond
In the years in-between, I've seen things come and go like the Dotcom boom & bust, web 2.0, and Flash. I built sites with BBEdit, GoLive, Dreamweaver, Joomla, and WordPress.
Starting in 2008, I started to learn Drupal and by 2009, my first Drupal site went live. Drupal has been an integral part of my dev-life over the past eight years, but I think it's good to learn a new platform so that's one of the reasons I've ventured here into Jekyll-land. Jekyll uses the Liquid templating language which is somewhat similar in syntax to Twig, so it wasn't a big reach to get up to speed relatively quickly. I'm learning that the combination of Jekyll and Liquid are extremely powerful.
As for the future, I am hoping to explore such things as decoupled applications. For example, the pairing of Drupal and Gatsby which in combo, provide an ultra streamlined front-end build process no longer reliant on the high demands of the CMS.