I've been making websites since the late 1990's. I took a break between 2007 and 2014 and the web development ecosystem has changed a lot to say the least. I've always used a workflow that to me has been rather clear and has served my purposes.
- I added SASS to this in 2014/2015
- A php driven CMS (Craft/Perch lately) and PhPMyAdmin to manage my SQL
- A shared hosting solution (1and1) that I can point domains to and store data on
With those technologies I would make templates that rendered the content from the CMS. My clients have been happy with this approach and I can deliver solutions using that workflow. However, I started paying attention to the React/GraphQL movement in the last year. As of late I've been zeroing in on Gatsby.
I've gone through the React tutorial on their site, same with the GraphQL tutorial, have read and understood the granular topics of what these technologies are. I've familiarized myself with package managers.
Through my formal CS education I have written a text editor in Assembly, written and IPC in C, but I'm more confused and frustrated building a portfolio site with react (focusing on Gatsby as my stack) and have nothing to show dozens of hours into the process. I constantly feel lost in dozens of topics that are partially explained without connection to the other related topics. I feel like I'm drowning in sales pitches of competing framework developers who all want me to try their awesome new technology that all do the same thing - the same thing? WHAT IS IT? I want to make awesome web sites. I want to go from design to a public facing website that I created with this technology.
I don't like being this cynical. I prefer to be productive and optimistic. I feel drained, frustrated and used.
I'm rational enough to understand that if industry leaders are using these new web development technologies to their benefit, I must be approaching this wrong. I'm not thinking about it right. I've exhausted my own resources as an independent learner. Halp!
At this point I'm breaking down and asking for help. I've tried finding a block diagram of flow chart of a high-level overview how to use react and various technologies that are dependent on it (whatever those are at any given moment in time) and haven't found anything.
- Hosting (public facing)? I can't install packages onto my shared hosting plan on the fly. I can't ssh into it. No root access. What do I use instead? Do I run a server here at my house?
- Is the core React library alone not powerful enough? Do I need to install a CMS or other packages for react to be useful, much how php on it's own doesn't provide all the abstractions needed for task x, y and z?
- The most important: What (preferably free) tutorials/learning resources do you recommend? Maybe my searches haven't returned the best results.
Thanks for listening to my vent post. I'm reaching out for mentorship and help. Anything help/guidance would be appreciated.
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