Learning exhaust

Updated: Jan 4 2022

I’ve had this reminder on my task list for far too long. It says; “publicly commit to Hugo course so you’re accountable.” I’ve looked at it countless times and done nothing about it.

A few nights back I realised my problem; I don’t have a decent strategy. I lack a concrete plan to implement my intentions and a cue that will help me get on and do the work.

It occurred to me that perhaps the solution is to write the whole course in public. In other words, I shouldn’t just tell you I’m writing a course on Hugo, but actually show you – by documenting the entire process with daily updates. If I commit to daily updates I’m going to have to get on and write the damn thing. What better way to hold myself accountable and stick with it?

I remember Frank sharing the redesign of his website in public a while back, although I think his reasons for doing so were somewhat different. Either way, it reminded me of Shawn’s article learn in public in which he talks about getting in the habit of creating learning exhaust – regular creative output in a content format of your choosing. I’m yet to hear an argument as to why this isn’t a great idea.

By sharing the work in progress (not just the completed course), my hope is that we both learn something through the process. I get to clarify my approach to web development and escape the trap of endless editing, polishing and perfecting, before putting work out there. And you? My hope is that you learn an approach to building websites that involves a simple workflow with minimal friction. You get a solid understanding of how to build fast, resilient websites without the complexity you find in so many modern web development workflows. You also get to see how this speculative stuff comes together and if it does at all. What fun.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know exactly where all this is heading yet, but by sharing the process I’m sure we’ll find out. What I can tell you is this; over the years I’ve built enough websites with Hugo to know a thing or two about how it’s done. I’m sure wherever this takes us there will be plenty to learn for all of us. Let’s see how we get on.

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