site update

will connell · April 13, 2021

I changed my personal site generator from R Markdown to Jekyll. R Markdown is fairly simple but requires local rendering, which in turn requires locating all Markdown files in the root website directory. This took me too long to figure out and plagued my repository with a messy structure and hacked code snippets. Pushing updates became a chore.

I have found parsimony with the Reverie Jekyll theme for Github Pages. Using Jekyll with GH Pages is great - no more local builds required, and the Jekyll repository structure is simple and intuitive. Project structure is an oft-overlooked yet highly important programming concept. Meaningul organizational rules can vastly accelerate development efficiency. I hope streamlining this website will do the same for publicizing my profile.

There is quite a bit to say about how organizational skills become (un)realized when tested with software development. Code is an abstraction of logical concepts - organizational levels make up an architectural hierarchy. I have discovered great frameworks from others through quite a bit of trial and error. When I find a nice new tool I always think, “if someone would have just told me to do it this way!” However, for some tasks, the value of a new tool or framework is probably not realized without needing to discover it in the first place. As there are always new approaches to try, it is important to know when to stick to your guns and when to take on the burden of transitioning to a new approach. Gratefully, I think I am becoming more efficient in this regard.

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