Analytical Data Engineering remains my profession, area of expertise, and main interest. I explore, design, install, and operate technology, and data in that realm in my career.
I also enjoy dabbling in other areas such as build pipelines, infrastructure as code, container orchestration, static website development, and learning cloud technologies and stacks. Building my own site lets me dive into many technologies. So, I think everyone in tech should consider building their own website.
My development setup is:
- Python 3.8+
- MacBook Pro
- Visual Studio Code
- Docker and Docker Compose
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Most people in tech should consider developing a personal website. A website touches so many layers of technology!
You can explore areas such as those listed below when building even the simplest website. My static website is over engineered for sure. However, I enjoy learning about all these areas and my career has benefited from doing so.
- Backend: REST API in whatever language, Processing, etc.
- Storage: Object Stores, Data Stores, etc.
- Networking: DNS, Load Balancers, etc.
- Version Control: Git, Commits + Messages, Pull Requests, etc.
- Development Cycle: Local to Development to Production, Linting, Unit Testing, etc.
- CICD: Build, Test, then Deploy
- Analytics: Site Visits, Custom Analytical Events, etc.
- Performance: Caching, Speed Test, etc.
- Documentation: Repos, Processes, etc.
- Content: CMS, Content Platform, etc.
- Search: Build your own, Use a provider, etc.
- Management: Breaking down a large effort into tasks.
Here is how I use each of those areas with my current website:
- Backend: None, but some Cloud Functions fetch data prior to website deploys. I love working with FastAPI.
- Static Site Generator: Hugo. Not in love with the complexity for my super simple site but it’s good enough.
- Storage: Google Cloud Storage. BigQuery in the future for analytical data.
- Networking: AWS Route 53 for DNS.
- Version Control: Git and GitLab.
- Infrastructure: Terraform
- Development Cycle: Laptop to Preview Site to Production Site. Netlify deploys the preview and production sites.
- Analytics: TBD. I am unsure whether I want to add Google Analytics to my site. When introducing a REST API, I will add an analytical event stream.
- Performance: Netlify’s CDN, Speed Test, etc.
- Documentation: Repo ReadMes and other guides. Write Clear and Concisely
- Content: Contentful seems neat but overkill for me even though the intent here is to explore different techs with my site. So for now, I store content in the site’s code itself or elsewhere (e.g. Garmin, Goodreads).
- Management: Trello
Site Build Status
- Other data, such as Garmin data, is gathered similar to how gathering Goodreads data is shown above.
These sites have been some long time favorites:
I have played with various technologies over the years. Here are some in no particular order stretching all the way back to 1996 or so.
The simplicity of Tumblr as a blogging platform cannot be beat. Plus, blogs can be hosted on custom domains and their templating system provides full flexibilty with structuring and styling content.
Twilio is the coolest thing since sliced bread and I wish I had more time to play around with it.
I have played around with launching EC2 instances and other services. What Amazon put together is simply amazing. Why didn’t the leading tech companies of the day do this?
Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Yenka
Wait, wait, wait. I can take everything I’ve learned with software and use that knowledge to start interacting with the physical world? Yes please.
Gephi is a great program for exploring and making discoveries about networks.
I have last used PHP a long time ago.
Intersystems technology is widely used in the healthcare and financial industries. You can store massive amounts of data in a non-relational structure.
Microsoft has a fantastic stack of products and they have made some exciting moves recently (bash on Windows, open source .Net, etc…).
Tableau is a great application for mashing together data and exploring it to discover why something is occurring. The learning curve is steep enough where I have not wanted to spend the time to do anything beyond basic graphs and dashboards. The tool appears much more powerful than that though.
Okay, okay. Hear me out on this one. Excel has lots of powerful capabilities and often see it drastically underutilized.
Previously, I hosted this site on Azure. I found it worked well for Razor syntax sites, deployments, etc. My development interests changed so I no longer host here.