July 29, 2019

A fresh start

A fresh start

After two years of not blogging I finally have the time and toolset to be able to do it more regularly. It's been a hell of a two years, so we'll summarise quickly here:

Recap

I started and finished work at Visa Europe. Working as part of the Innovation Centre based out of Paddington my team and I, with the guidance of a great architect (Ranjiva Prasad) and supported by an internal Visa team, managed to create a pipeline (technical and process) to enable Visa to deliver pilots into production. This was and is a massive deal due to Visa’s tight restrictions on what can be public and in production use. The net result is that we successfully launched three pilots and Visa now has the capability to launch pilots in a few months, and not the year+ they would normally be used to. Great work for Daemon Solutions.

My startup BVNK has gone from strength to strength, gaining commercial traction, market validation, seed funding and a fantastic team. I'm super proud of the work that we are doing for our clients and about the path coming up. Running a start up is hard work, and the rewards are commensurate. Absolutely cannot wait for what is to come for BVNK.

I've been travelling loads, mainly for my startup, and it's been great to see more of the world especially Switzerland. I am absolutely in love with this country, feel aligned with the government and can see myself living in the mountains there one day.

This blog

Over the last two years the main time black hole has been my startup. As we've grown, I've managed to remove myself from working in the business and towards working on the business. This has brought the benefit of having at least a little more time to myself.

As time is still sparse, the case for most professionals, I've done some digging on the easiest way to get writing again so that there are less blockers.

My old blog was written using Hugo which is a great tool and it's written in Go which I am a massive fan of. The writing and editing experience left some to be desired though, and I place at least partial blame on this for my lack of articles. Starting again after some time gives me the freedom to play around.

After looking in to various options, I decided to focus on two. Both of these are centred around Ulysses as the writing app, allowing me to write and publish from mobile or desktop easily.

  1. Keep Hugo and use Ghost as a headless CMS. The default implementations of this use Hugo as a content source and loop through the posts using handlebars. One of the reasons I liked Hugo is that it was all centred around a Git repository so my ideal implementation would maintain this. What this could look like: Ulysses publishes to Ghost, Ghost notifies a small Service or Lambda function, the service pulls the content from Ghost and converts to Hugo formatting, the file is written and committed to the git repository using Go native code, Netlify picks up the change and updates the website. Static site is maintained with history, the benefits of editing using Ulysses is maintained and all things are version controlled. In order to do this I need to build a new service and maintain it, as well as cover other cases like editing or deletion.
  2. Use Ghost as the CMS and frontend. Drop the old website and go the simple route using Ulysses to publish to Ghost and have the content updated. This loses the static site goodness but is simpler and has less failure points and work to be done. It also means I need to write a tool to migrate Hugo posts to Ghost as this doesn't currently exist.

After some consideration the second option is the one I'm going with. This gets me up and running quickly using the most important part of the tool chain and also doesn't lock me in - I can do option 1 at some stage in the future if things change.

More writing

All in all I'm excited to get more writing done about software, finance and perhaps some politics.