Frontend Development

I don't have experience with Gatsby. Why am I building a Gatsby plugin then?

Update on December, 15: The Plugin is published on NPM!

You can check it out here.

I have zero experience with Gatsby.

The only experience I had had before with Gatbsy was going through some of the docs and deciding to use NuxtJs for my personal portfolio website instead of Gatsby, but this week I started work on a Gatsby Plugin.

What I'm building.

Last week, I posted a message in the JAM Stack community slack that in December, I was open to more project work. I had been getting a little slow and wanted to make sure next month was going to be busy.

Later that day, I got some responses from the Rudderstack team asking me if I would be willing to work on a plugin for Gatsby that would make it easy for people to track events on their Gatsby frontends.

I was excited about the opportunity, but I was a bit nervous, knowing that I had no previous experience even remotely like what the team was asking for.

The Rudderstack team wanted a plugin for Gatsby developers to easily be able to get their Gatsby frontends up and running with custom event tracking through their API.

When I first saw the GitHub issue and description of the problem, I knew I had never done what they were wanting, but the opportunity was super exciting to me.

After the guys asked me about taking the project on in Slack, I decided to take a second look at the issue and decide whether it was a problem that I could tackle. Based on the project description, and a similar plugin that they wanted to simulate, I decided to give the project a go.

Soon hopefully, you will be able to easily set up your Gatsby websites with Rudderstack, and quickly get custom event tracking easily configured.

Why am I doing it?

The project is open source, and lately, I have been doing my best to start contributing more consistently to open source projects.

I was given advice a couple of months ago from a great developer to get more involved with open source to market myself better. My goal is to start working long term with a great company, and he said that one of the best ways to start marketing myself as a developer is to start doing work in the open.

Another reason why I decided to take on this project is that it’s paid! Even though the plugin will be open source, the Rudderstack team has decided to pay a developer to develop it!

According to GitHub and the Rudderstack team, I will be the first developer to work on an open-source project and be paid for it. When I heard that, I was blown away by the Rudderstack teams’ decision to trust me with this project.

The last reason why I am developing this Gatsby plugin is that a few weeks ago I read a blog to junior developers about how to grow as a developer. One of the main points in the article was to say “yes” to solving problems you have never solved before.

The developer stated that one of the best ways to grow as a junior is by doing things that put you outside of your comfort zone. I am doing my best to become a stellar developer, and I know I will grow while working on this plugin, and the Netlify Function for it.

Concluding thoughts.

I’m so grateful to be able to work on this project. Even in preparation, and getting started, I’ve learned a lot.

I’m thankful to the Rudderstack team for giving me this opportunity. Make sure to check out their website and look at their issue list for other projects that are paid!

If you have any advice or input on the best way of going about testing and developing a Gatsby plugin, please let me know in the comments. I greatly appreciate it.

Chris Wray website logo

Trying to do my part in making the world a better place.

This site is hosted for free, so I am thanking the services I am using by adding a link to their websites here in the footer.

© 2020 Chris Wray. All rights reserved.