Jan's Development Microblog
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| Jan Valkenburg | general | Reading time: 5 min

Start of my new journey

Welcome to my new journey. My name is Jan Valkenburg. Thirty-nine years old and from The Netherlands. In my daily life, I’m a Full Stack PHP Web Developer.

This is my story

I started my journey of building websites shortly after I got my first internet connection. I believe that’s more than thirty years ago. I started creating websites using Microsoft Frontpage 98. Later on, I did use Macromedia Dreamweaver for a short while. - Yes, Macromedia not Adobe, I started using this program before Adobe took them over - But I mostly did used NotePath++ for years. Around 2003 I started building sites using PHP5. And started building blogs, forums, and more. Through the years I got better at it and taught myself OOP, writing clean code, and more. Created my own microformat for marking downloads on a website. For companies, I was writing full intranet applications, daily offers websites, and more. And in my own time, I built a few big projects like a complete weather website (WeerLokaal.nl), which I recently completely rebuilt from scratch. In the last few years, I shifted my focus from PHP back-end development to Front-end. And today I’m working for an employer branding company setting up the styling for the website we produced as a team.

Starting my new micro blog

Starting today I’m writing in English on my new microblog. The focus will be mainly on development stuff like PHP, CSS, HTML, and maybe some other random things. Since 2013 I have written blogs in Dutch on my personal site, but for some reason, it never took off. Earlier this year I was thinking about writing English blogs about web development stuff, but as this wouldn’t fit my current Dutch website I put it off for a while.

A little while ago I was looking around the internet and found a microblogging platform named bearblog.dev. This was the kind of platform I was looking for. With a developer mindset, I chose to build my own version of it. Written in PHP, MySQL and keep everything as simple and minimal as possible. While building it I had a few requirements for it:

  • No images (except for content)
  • No external fonts or scripts
  • Loading as fast as possible
  • As light and simple as possible

At this point, I think I can see I matched all those requirements. For the first version of this platform, I believe it’s good enough. Later on, I will improve it and might add more functions like an RSS feed, sitemap.xml, newsletter, email listing, and share buttons for social media. I have no plans to add a comment section as I think it might hurt the page indexing by search engines. Also, there are too many bots on the internet that will mess up the comment section. Whatever I will add or improve should never break the design rules of this blog.

The future for this micro blog

This first post is a starting point for this new blog. It won’t be the only post on this blog. In the upcoming year, I will post more about HTML, CSS, PHP, or other web-related stuff. I plan to post a few times a month about new things I learned and want to share with all of you.

A second goal of mine is to improve my English writing. As a native Dutch speaker, I will make some grammar mistakes. But by writing English more regularly, I hope to improve it. In case you spot some mistakes just let me know.

Final words

I really hope you all liked this first blog post, and I hope to keep in touch with all of you. To finish this blog post, I will end with a wise quote from my favorite anime show Inuyasha:

「未来は直線ではありません。さまざまな道があります。私たちはその未来を自分たちで決めなければなりません。」 -- “The future is not a straight line. There are many different pathways. We must try to decide that future for ourselves."