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Building a personal site from scratch, 4 years later

3 min read | November 23rd 2016

Self-improvementWeb development
A lot can change in four years

In the last four years, I’ve significantly grown in my ability and confidence to start a site from scratch, and a perfect reflection of this is in the evolution of my personal site. I initially had lots of trouble getting started, in large part due to my lack of design skills. I'm hoping that by sharing the progress I have made, others will be inspired to pursue projects that they think are out of their reach.

2012-11-12: Buying a domain

The first step: I bought the domain names for and This was going to happen.

2013-11-07: The “MVP

Almost a year passed before I did anything. But eventually, I produced something and made it public. It was a big moment.

Screenshot - Personal site - 20131107As basic as it gets

Sometime after I launched my site, a casual conversation with my boss motivated me to work harder on it. We were assessing the candidacy a UI/UX engineer, and the dialogue went something like:

  • My boss: “Why would we hire a UI/UX engineer with an ugly site?”
  • Me: “Well, my site is pretty basic.”
  • My boss: “Yeah, but you weren’t hired for UI/UX.”
  • Oof.

I became determined to produce a site that I would be proud to show off.

2014-12-01: Adding content and a font

Around this time, I started going through HackDesign articles, and I slowly applied what I learned (e.g. fonts are important) to the site. In addition, whenever I thought of something I wanted to share, I added it to the site.

Screenshot - Personal site - 20141201Getting better

2015-03-20: Color!

Sometimes small changes make a huge difference. Adding color was one such change.

Screenshot - Personal site - 20150320Let there be color!

2015-05-24: Project thumbnails

A day before a hackathon, I spent most of the night adding thumbnails to my projects, in case anyone visited my portfolio. It probably wasn‘t the smartest idea to stay up late the day before a hackathon, but it definitely added sparkle to my site.

Screenshot - Personal site - 20150524Oooh... pictures

2016-08-26: Portrait and bio

A friend suggested that I add a portrait and a bio. Great idea.

Screenshot - Personal site - 20160826Who's that handsome man in the picture?

It was fun for me to relive the progress of my website. It has come a long way and it demonstrates the value of starting simple and constantly improving. I'm excited to see where the site will be 4 years from now!

For anyone curious, the code for my personal site is at