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Using Data with Eleventy and Forestry (a charmCityJs Talk)

I gave a talk during a virtual charmCityJs meetup and it was a good time.

Earlier this month, I gave a talk at the charmCityJs meetup about how I use the powers of Eleventy and Forestry to integrate my development workflow into a CMS. I had never given a talk before, let alone try to explain how my website works to people I barely know. That said, it was a cool 15 minute experience.

I'd been wanting to give a talk for the meetup in the past, but I never worked up the courage to submit an idea. Sure, I work with JavaScript all the time, but that doesn't necessarily mean I know enough about it to convince someone I know what I'm talking about.

But that's not what the meetup is about at its core. I'm not there to try and convince people of an idea; I'm there to present something I've been working on that I think is cool and that other people might also find cool. Being able to get in front of a community of like-minded people and talk about a thing we all enjoy (I use this term lightly in regards to JS) is a fun time.

I won't recap my entire talk from front to back, but here's the rundown:

  1. I accidentally made my site complicated by trying out new features in the world of JS, specifically Eleventy.
  2. I got tired of being distracted in my code editor when trying to make a blog post - or even forgetting what front matter fields are necessary for said post - so I needed a way to streamline the process.
  3. Forestry was brought to my attention and I found it to be a nice companion to the way my site is structured.

I discussed a few of the Nunjucks features used in my templates, as well as how to use front matter to its fullest. The abbreviated talk can be found on Speaker Deck. I'm looking forward to giving more talks in the future, and I encourage anyone else who's thinking the same thing to push through the imposter syndrome and give it a shot.


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