Why I chose Medium over Jekyll for my technical blog

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TLDR: because I value simplicity over customizability, more importantly, it allows me to actually write in the first place.

Starting today, I’ll be writing all my blog posts in Medium, including technical programming-related blog posts. Here is why:

I’m a perfectionist and it prevents me from getting things done. I’d prematurely optimize, I’d focus too much on the form, rather than content, I’ll waste my time procrastinating and configuring things. In the end, I would give up and not do the thing which actually matters: producing content.

To give you an example, recently I need to create a resume to apply for a job. How difficult could that be? Apparently almost impossible, if you are an obsessive perfectionist. First I’d need to figure out which format I’d create my resume in? A plain text file? LaTeX? M$ Word? JSON resume? TXT file? Which website, I’d use to generate that resume? I’d spend hours on such research. In the end, I settled for JSON Resume. I even created a custom theme for it tweaking the stylesheets until it felt just right. Because hey, I’d get a massive nerd cred for adopting an open standard, and how cool would it be to send a resume in JSON? Am I right?

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The truth is, none of this shit matters.

Perfectionism is a form of procrastination.

Same thing happened to me when using Jekyll and Octopress as my blogging engine. I spent way too much time configuring things. When I migrated my personal site to a new domain, my blog got shut down for more than a year, and I wouldn’t write anything. Because, you guessed it, before writing a blog post, I’d need to make a choice for a blogging engine. So many possibilities: Shall I go for a hosted platform or shall I self-host? If I’m going for self-hosted, shall I choose Wordpress (not cool), Ghost (somewhat cooler), Github pages/Jekyll or better yet shall I create my own blogging engine from scratch?

This is the same reason why I’m choosing macOS over Linux on my desktop. I’ve made a switch 5 year ago an never looked back. Granted things have changed for the better since then, but I remember spending weekends configuring. A new update would be mess up the whole system, and I’d spend my whole weekend fornicating with my computer instead of… Well, you get the picture.

Medium allows me to focus on what I’m trying to say instead of how I’m saying it. On top of that, you have discoverability out of the box for your content. You own the rights to the content you create and post on Medium.

Medium is not perfect, at this point my biggest issues are:

  • Lack of Grammarly support. I need to switch context bettween Grammarly desktop app which I use for spell-checking and Medium.
  • Code highlighting. I’m using Github gists, but it would be nice to have a tighter integration so that I can paste my code right in without intermediary steps.

But then again, I’m happy to tolerate those as long it allows me to actually share my work and help people.

Written by

Hacker. Entrepreneur. Jetsetter. Dreamer. @nderkach http://derka.ch

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