After my first year of fatherhood and with everything going on in the world and on the internet, I’ve decided it’s time to rebuild. I’m not talking about just my personal website, but about reworking how I build: how I extract ideas, track them, evaluate them and build them. I’d like to start by reorganizing and rebuilding my own personal web tools and properties, but will also explore cloning popular web apps, like Instagram, Notion and Twitter, as fun exercises of rebuilding well known real world applications. This will allow me to find a new dedicated home for my own projects and data that I can control and play with. The hope is to use this experiment to get back to basics and first principles, to rebuild strong foundations that can easily be expanded upon in the future, and to just have some fun building on the web again (something that feels lost at the moment).
Rules & Guidelines
- Not intentionally starting a business. It can happen accidentally, but I am not focusing on landing pages or marketing. If someone likes what I'm building and wants to buy it, great. But that's not the goal right now.
- Only one project idea at a time. If I come up with new ideas, they need to get added to the idea's spreadsheet and explored later. But I can only actively work on once project at a time. This is an exercise in focus.
- It's okay to learn new technology. It's also okay to build worthless projects that help learn a new concept or technology. Just play and have fun and get more comfortable.
- Using AI is not only allowed, but it is highly encouraged.
- Building tools to help improve my productivity with building is highly encouraged. In fact, a large chunk of the work should be related to refining the whole build process. The goal is to move faster. The first couple steps matter.
What it could be
- A focused step by step chronicling of progress in an attempt to relearn how to best work on side projects while also prioritizing my family and full time work.
- Something fun to share with family, friends and/or internet randos that either find this inspiring or are just curious.
- A fun experiment and chance to exercise some new (and old) skills.
- Format will most likely consist of everything incrementally stored and updated in git, to ensure a change log and history.
What it won’t be
- Video, audio or long form content.
- Regularly scheduled.
- Live-streamed in any fashion.
What inspired this?
- Saturday, January 21, 2023 - Leveled up Hotwire knowledge via Andrea Fomera’s Learn Hotwire by Building a Forum course
(~5 hours total over 3 Satursdays during naps and momma/baby adventures)
- Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - Lego Build - Iron Man Figure
(~3 hours total over 4 nights in the evening)
- Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - First week of Sean Johnson’s Building an Intentional Life mentoring
(~2 hours of homework in evenings, 1.5 hours for group meeting during work day)
- Friday, December 30, 2022 - Lego Build - I am Groot
(~2 hours total over 3 nights each in the evening)
- Thursday, December 22, 2022 - Got a Rails protoype working w/ turbostreams for a simple OpenAI proof of concept project.
(~2 hours in evening while baby was away with grandparents)
- Friday, December 16, 2022 - Working on defining my preferred tech stack and project start process
(~2 hours in evenings)
- Monday, December 12, 2022 - Researching Rails templates and exploring railsbytes.com to explore ideal tech stack and starter project setup.
(~2 hours in evenings)
- Sunday, December 11, 2022 - Fixed my rails.new installation (Ruby 3.1.3, PostgreSQL, .railsrc, etc)
(~2 hours during naps)
- Saturday, December 10, 2022 - Fleshing out project build process.
(~4+ hours over the past week, mostly in evenings)
- Thursday, December 1, 2022 - Fleshed out some Rules and Guidelines for Rebuild.
(~15 minutes during lunch break)
- Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - Added affected pages to posts, rebuild workwithzack.com on github pages
(~15 minutes + 1 hour in the evening)
- Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - Update project layouts and convert activity log to posts
(~2 hours in the evening)
- Monday, November 21, 2022 - Added a /web and navigation to zackgilbert.com pages.
(~2 hours while baby slept)
- Saturday, November 19, 2022 - Reorganized and updated zackgilbert.com & zackgilbert.com/concerts. Added a https://zackgilbert.com/now page.
(~3 hours while baby slept)
- Thursday, November 17, 2022 - Added an RSS feed for posts
(~10 minutes in the morning)
- Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - First pass at putting together a Projects + Ideas spreadsheet
(~2 hours of data entry in the evening)
- Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - Got posts working with Adding Fathom Analytics to Github Jekyll Pages
(~2 hours of writing in the morning, during lunch and in the evening)
- Monday, November 14, 2022 - Installed analytics via the wonderful Fathom Analytics (sponsor)
- Sunday, November 13, 2022 - Setup Rebuild via github pages
(~2 hours during naps and evening)
- Sunday, November 6, 2022 - Initial project outline and overview
(~2 hours of writing in the evening)