Even though this is the obligatory 'Hello World' post, it feels like it's been forever since I started work on planning and building this site. In early fall of last year, I was gifted the domain andrewberls.com. I had no particular use for it at the time, but it seemed like a handy thing to hold on to. I decided I wanted to build a portfolio site for myself, to show off a little of what I've done up until this point and shamelessly promote myself. After completing the first iteration while also frantically trying to juggle schoolwork, I decided that the site needed more to it. Everybody has a blog, and I wasn't going to be the exception. I pondered my options- I posted on tumblr for the time being and thought about throwing a Wordpal or Drupal installation onto my domain, but that seemed unexciting. Nobody cares if you can install Wordpress, and I wanted to focus on improving my technical knowledge and abilities rather than actual writing (god forbid) anyways. The result you see here is powered by Sutro, a blogging engine I wrote from scratch using Ruby on Rails.
Going into all of this, I had absolutely no clue what Rails was all about, and had never used most of the tools I needed in any significant application. I had started learning a few snippets of PHP towards the end of the summer, and so the initial application was written in PHP. I started on the portfolio section, and only needed some basic scripting for the Contact form, so it seemed like a good fit. When I decided to write the blogging software as well, it was pretty clear that I would need a better solution, and so I had a good excuse to go learn Rails.