Mauro Bringolf

Currently geeking out as WordPress developer at WebKinder and student of computer science at ETH.

2017 – First year of this blog

January 15, 2018

Seems like it has been already one full year since I started this blog. I just revisited my first post1 and am really happy that I stuck with it. I learned and understood a lot of technical things that I would have long forgotten without writing about it. And more importantly: Deep diving into topics and writing about them helped me understand better what topics and problems really interest me. This is not concrete yet, but I feel like I am in a much better place to pick a field to work in because of writing all these posts. That has been the biggest payoff from writing for me so far, as I generally have a hard time telling what interests me. So I want to continue to write in 2018 and hopefully be able to further chase down my interests.

I published 51 posts and tagged them with 42 different tags. For some reason that I don’t remember I decided to use tags instead of categories. The most used tag is javascript with 17 posts. The reason for this is simple but insightful: I found great interest in contributing to open source and generally being an active GitHub user. The JavaScript ecosystem is welcoming and many projects encourage new contributors, so I did almost all of my open source work there. As a result I spent more time digging further into the language and discovered lots of interesting aspects of it and its ecosystem and ended up writing about them.

I definitely want to continue my efforts in open source and I think future posts will reflect that. My contributions to the Babel project were a big milestone for me, even though most of them were minor and will not affect a lot of users. I wrote a post when the pull request that I considered my first real code and creative contribution2 got merged into master. I am super proud of it.

Insights on writing itself

When starting out I decided to focus on writing posts instead of figuring out the best setup for doing so. Writing takes a lot of time, so I want to use the little time I spend on this blog as efficiently as possible. However, I think one year of writing 51 posts is a good data set to do some evaluation on. Currently, this blog is a WordPress site with a custom theme I threw together. I wrote a small plugin to make the footnotes3 and created all posts . However, I have a couple of issues with this setup:

So these are issues I have with my current blog setup. I played around with the static site generator Jekyll for a bit and I think it can fix most of these issues. I hope to convert everything to a Jekyll blog this month, so let’s see how that goes.

Other cool things that happened

2018, year two!

This is the paragraph that I will reflect against on January 15th of 2019. I’d like to be more involved in open source and my writing to be a platform for things learned and experienced through this world. Contribution to a non-JavaScript project with an associated post would be a cool achievement. In general, writing posts about my open source activities and studies should become a habit and not require much more time than taking notes along the way. And as a last point, I want to make a clearer distinction between posts on personal experience and technical articles explaining things.

So let’s 2018!