I've had many personal websites over the years, but none of them are still live. This time I aim to build one that will last. One that I'm sure will change and evolve in the years to come, but will essentially still be the same website.

"I intend for this website to be the last personal website I ever create, and the first one I never finish."

Straight off the bat, influences include the personal websites of developers and designers such as Tania Rascia, Paul Stamatiou, and Andrew Kim. Their websites are so well-designed (and contain such well-written content) that I've never had to bookmark them. I never fail to remember each one, and I've enjoyed reading and learning from them over the years.

They each have elements I'd like to try and emulate here.

Primarily though, I want this site to help me grow. Using the journal entries to document my learning and, in doing so, hopefully learn faster and retain more.

A better way of learning

I love reading, it's usually my favourite way of learning a new topic, but when I first started looking into web development (sometime in 2011) I was left feeling betrayed. Reading several chunky volumes that people recommended, I just found myself drowning in a sea of code examples and long chapters of unintelligible jargon.

Thankfully reading isn't the only way to learn something new.

You've probably heard of a concept called the Learning Pyramid. It outlines retention rates that can be expected with different learning processes, with passive learning (such as attending lectures) usually being less memorable than say, attending a discussion group and debating an idea. I was surprised to learn that teaching a topic is considered to be one of the best ways of learning something, but I'm sure you've heard the saying:

"If you can't explain it properly to a six-year-old, then you don't understand it well-enough yourself."

So I'm hoping that documenting my progress here in this journal will serve multiple purposes; it should optimise my own learning by helping me retain more of what I'm writing about, and also serve as a pseudo list of credentials.

It'd be great if the content also ends up helping others who are trying to learn.

They're the type of websites I've always been grateful for.

Ideally, I'd also like for it to still be live and available online for years and years to come. The look and feel of the site will probably change and evolve as time goes by, but I really enjoy the idea of my older journal posts still being public when the year 2019 seems a distant memory.

So... we're aiming for educational and reliable. That's the plan for now. If it's nice to look at too, well that's just a bonus.