Building My Developer Playground

May 1, 2024

Hey everyone! As a web developer, there's a special kind of satisfaction that comes with crafting your own digital space. It's a chance to experiment, showcase your skills, and maybe even share some knowledge (like this article!). So, I recently embarked on building my own website, and today, I want to take you behind the scenes and delve into the tech stack powering this project. Buckle up, code enthusiasts, because we're diving into the world of Next.js, React, Tailwind CSS, and TypeScript!

Building My Developer Playground Image

The Foundation: Next.js and React

The first question on any web developer's mind: "What framework should I use?" Well, for this project, I opted for the dynamic duo: Next.js and React. Here's why:

  • Next.js: This React-based framework offers a ton of built-in features like server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG). This translates to lightning-fast loading times and SEO benefits, which are crucial for a personal website. Plus, Next.js makes routing a breeze, keeping my code clean and organized.
  • React: Let's be honest, React is kind of a rockstar in the front-end world. Its component-based structure makes building reusable UI elements a joy, and the vast React ecosystem provides access to countless libraries and tools.

Sure, other frameworks like Gatsby (SSG-focused) or Nuxt.js (Vue.js-based) were tempting. But for the flexibility and developer experience, Next.js and React won me over.

Styling with Styled Components... Wait, No, Tailwind!

Next, came the question of styling. Now, I'm a big fan of Styled Components for its intuitive component-based styling approach. But for this project, I decided to give Tailwind CSS a spin. Here's the deal:

  • Tailwind CSS: This utility-first CSS framework provides a massive toolbox of pre-built classes for styling elements. It might seem restrictive at first, but it actually promotes rapid development and keeps my styles consistent. Plus, Tailwind is super customizable, allowing me to tailor the look and feel to my exact preferences.

While frameworks like Bootstrap offer pre-built components, Tailwind's focus on utility classes gives me more granular control and keeps my codebase lightweight.

Adding Type Safety with TypeScript

One of the best decisions I made for this project? Adding TypeScript! Here's why:

  • TypeScript: This superset of JavaScript adds static typing, which essentially means catching errors before the code even runs. This translates to a more robust and maintainable codebase, especially for larger projects. TypeScript also improves code completion and refactoring in my editor, making development a smoother experience.

Now, some might argue that using vanilla JavaScript is perfectly fine. But for the added peace of mind and developer experience boost, TypeScript was a no-brainer.

Deployment Decisions: Vercel vs AWS

Now, let's talk deployment! Choosing the right platform to host my website was a thoughtful process. I weighed the pros and cons between two industry giants: Vercel and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Vercel: This serverless deployment platform offers seamless integration with Next.js, making the deployment process a breeze. Vercel also provides built-in features like global CDN and automatic SSL certificates, which take a lot off my plate.
  • AWS: A powerful and versatile cloud computing platform, AWS offers a vast array of services, including options for web hosting. However, the initial setup can be more complex compared to Vercel.

Ultimately, I decided to go with Vercel. The ease of deployment, tight integration with Next.js, and features like automatic SSL certificates made it a compelling choice for this project. While I had to learn a bit more about Vercel compared to my experience with AWS, it was a fun and rewarding learning experience.

Building Something Awesome (Hopefully!)

So, there you have it! This is the tech stack powering my website. It's a combination of powerful tools that allow me to focus on creating a great user experience and showcasing my skills.

This is just the beginning, though. As I build out the website, I'll be sure to share more about the process, the challenges, and hopefully, some cool features! In the meantime, feel free to reach out and share your thoughts on my tech stack choices, or even suggest some cool features you'd like to see on the website.

Happy coding!

Web Development
Tailwind CSS