Blazing New Trails with Gatsby

Ever since I saw Kyle Mathews (@kylemathews) give a presentation about Gatsby at the 2017 BADCamp, I’ve been looking for a chance to use it. Since I’ve always learned best by doing (I’m currently taking apart my van engine to remill a cylinder head and replace a busted gasket -- words I didn’t know until a few weeks ago) I decided to build a site with Drupal and Gatsby.

GatsbyGuides.com

It was a meta endeavor, in every sense of the word. GatsbyGuides.com teaches you how to build a website like the one we built using Gatsby and Drupal (or any CMS you want). You can use the tutorials on the site to actually build a site very similar to the one you’re looking at.

It was the first project of any real complexity that I’d used Gatsby on. One of the fun things for me was getting to experience the speed firsthand. It makes pages and web applications that are really fast. I was able to run commands, build the version of the site, and when I clicked the link, the page would change instantaneously. I found myself clicking around just to enjoy the speed. I thought,

‘Wow, that’s really fast. Blazing even.’

Why did we choose to create a bunch of free tutorials on Gatsby? First, it has potential. We’re using it on our own projects, we’ve seen that it’s growing quickly, and we want to contribute to the community. We also think that by helping provide quality learning materials, we can help the Gatsby community grow. Maybe one day, if the community grows as fast as the product, we’ll think about developing more extensive training materials. For now it’s a learning endeavor for us and a way to help the community succeed. Win-win.

Osio stands for Open Source Inside and Out

It also gave us the opportunity to take part in a really good business exercise, since it’s already a big year for us. We changed our company name from Lullabot Education to Osio Labs to better communicate our commitment to the wider world of open source projects. Osio stands for Open Source Inside and Out.

As we explore branching into other training markets, creating materials for Gatsby gave me an opportunity to test out strategies for doing that. It gives us a sandbox for research, diversified tutorial creation, and real-life technical experience. As we continue to explore how Gatsby fits into our infrastructure, we’ll also continue to contribute tutorials related to the things we’re learning. When we do create new open source training sites, it’s a sure bet that Gatsby will be part of the technical infrastructure.

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