It's time for a new approach
Opening remarks (1st Jan 2023)
I built the majority of my new website during the first lockdown of the pandemic in 2020 (which feels an entirnity ago now), however, burnout hit hard and I just had to desire or drive to apply the finishing touches. Fast forward over 2 years and I, and my coding landscape, have changed.
Towards the end of 2022 I rebuilt my site (again) and this is that version - not entirely finished, but ready enough. Despite writing this blog post nearly 2.5 years ago, I felt it was worthwhile to publish in its entirity.
Original post (1st July 2020)
The first "production" version of my website was back in 2008 and on an older domain; built with ActionScript as the global economy was crashing, the world (and especially the web) was different. Flash allowed for a highly designed, interactive website - which was unavailable without it - and was a tool that I felt comfortable in. The following year would be a tumultuous one: I, like the world, experienced another period of depression.
Fast-forward to 2020, I sit here during a pandemic, another recession either on the horizon or already under foot like a wave on the beach that catches you unaware, the #blacklivesmatters movement taking rightful prominence, and industries rife with accusations of sexual assault from predatory people in power in what will hopefully become a watershed moment.
It feels that the world is walking barefoot across a room full of broken glass as someone continues to smash more mirrors on the floor, just when it feels like things are awful, they get worse.
That said, thankfully, my mental health over the past five years has been as good as ever and I'm trying to cling to an important notion.
Hope that the discrimination and abuse that huge portions of society receive diminishes and is eventually eradicated.
Hope that governments manage the pandemic better than they currently are to minimise it's destruction.
Hope that things get better, that things get easier, that life becomes more joyful.
However, instead of hoping, I intend to strive to make a positive impact. Not just a passive one, but an active one. This will be in my professional, social, and family life as well as my own personal growth. This brings us to now.
A new approach
So, here we are - this isn't just a shiny, new website. This is a decision to try to make a difference, to try to make someone's live better, even just briefly. One of the key takeaways of the past few months has been that actions matter; how are you going to improve things rather than just offer platitudes?
Whether writing articles or sharing code tips, I want to create more content. My aim is to teach, to inform, to challenge, to support.
Additionally, I want to try to push on with positively communicating with others over social media. Over the years I've slowly become more a consumer of social feeds than a contributor, yet I aim to try to promote and praise more.
2. Social responsibility
Accessible and performant code have been a focus of my for several years now, it's time to take that further. Though generally considered, sustainability, inclusivity, and ethicalness, must - at a minimum - be formalised into my workflows.
I'm not claiming to get everything right, heck, I expect to get many things wrong, but I feel that intent and willingness to learn and improve are extremely important.
For a number of years, I've been considering how to use my now decade-plus web experience to help someone new into the industry. Since having a baby boy last year, the desire to do this has only strengthened. However, I'm not sure on how to achieve this.
I want to do something on this front, though I need to flesh out the specifics around this first.
4. Learning & improving
Continual development will be a cornerstone for all aspects of this. Learning new techniques, improving existing approaches and challenging outdated or negative views.