September 11, 2020 ~ 3 min read


It's my 28th birthday, and I've been meaning to write more. I'm hoping that simplifying the design of my site and centering it around a blog will help keep me more accountable.

My last webpage looked pretty good but didn't really do what I wanted. The styles and gimmicks were too distracting. I'm not a designer. Why did I aim to make it look fancy?

I had it deploying to GitHub pages, and it seemed like every time I wanted to push up a change I would end up wrestling with Git and blowing up the subbranch. I didn't bother to add a blog because I had never managed to keep up with one and thought that, if anything, I'd write on Medium. That didn't happen.

RIP in peace

So here we are, in 2020, and I have blown the whole thing up and started from scratch with this lovely Sapper blog template. The more I came to work with server side code at work, the more I decided I wanted that granular control in my personal site as well, albeit with Sapper and Svelte instead of Next.js and React.

What do I do?

I'm Kim Thompson, a web developer living in Saint Paul and working at Minnesota Public Radio. I'm on the front end team, which creates and manages most of American Public Media's websites. We're a small team of 5 or so people, usually with a couple of designer/developer hybrids. There I'm considered a full stack developer.

We are a React shop and have been building most of our new projects with Next.js since we usually need server-side rendering. We used to do a lot of Rails stuff (the back end team still does), so I have learned just enough Rails to help troubleshoot and update those apps when necessary. Personally, I dislike Facebook and am more enthused about the up-and-coming Svelte ecosystem for websites, though I will admit that React Native is quite fun.

My most recent project was creating a proof of concept for building our next app with React Native and TypeScript, enabling us to publish to iOS, Android, and the web at the same time. I was pleased to find that Expo has made this a lot easier than it was a few years ago, when the Design Center had me building an app using Xamarin. What iOS dev knowledge I managed to retain for two years has finally come in handy!

Experimentation and architecture aside, we just lost a designer/developer hybrid so I see a lot of CSS work in my immediate future.

What is this site?

Soon I'll build out the Resume and Porfolio sections, where I'll showcase the projects I've worked on that didn't involve NDAs. From there, I'll simply use it to blog and keep a number of my other efforts on Twitch and YouTube.

What will I blog about?

I'll mostly keep it about tech, but I'll probably touch on my hobbies and politics at some point. I'm a leftist millennial and I have Opinions.



Miso and Kanna