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Juan Herreros Elorza

Starting the Cloud Resume Challenge

Challenge3 min read

Welcome to my blog!

I had been thinking for a long time, that it would be interesting to have a personal website. At the same time, I also wanted to have some side project, where I could play with some technologies which aren't the ones I use at work everyday. A couple of weeks ago, while reading some posts in, I came accross the Cloud Resume Challenge.

It was originally proposed by Forrest Brazeal, who also offered his help to people that took the challenge and were looking for a job. Although that is not my intention, I still find the challenge particularly interesting as it will allow me to fulfill those 2 goals I've had for a while: Getting a personal website and hands-on experinece with new tools and technologies.

First steps

I started looking for HTML templates for a Resume, and I was ready to upload one of those as a first, very simple version of the site. But then I discovered Gatsby, a React-based open source framework which enables me to get a more complete website, containing not just the Curriculum Vitae, but also the blog you're reading right now (as well as other content that eventually may come).

Gatsby offers a bunch of starters, templates that already look quite professional. I took one of those, intended for a mininalistic-style blog, developed by @LekoArts.

Publishing the site

Following the original instructions of the challenge, I am using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as my cloud provider. This is also particularly interesting for me, because I work on Azure, so this is an interesting way of getting hands-on expericne on a different cloud.

For the first deployment, I used the following services, configuring all of them from the web console:

  • S3, to host the static website
  • Certificate Manager, to provision the SSL certificates used in the HTTPS connection to the site
  • CloudFront, to provide HTTPS connection (Also to provide access to the site over a CDN)
  • Route 53, a DNS service to point my own domain to the one provided by CloudFront

This is already solving points 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the challege. In case you're wondering, I don't have the intention of fulfilling the first requisite in the short term, but I do have some Azure certifications.

The instructions I followed to deploy the site were the ones provided in Gatsby's own website, as well as a fantastic blog post by Joshua Walsh. Summarizing, first I provisioned a bucket on S3, then I installed the AWS CLI and the gatsby plugin to deploy to S3 and finally I deployed the site from the command line. Later, I requested the SSL certificates and I used those to get a CloudFront distribution pointing to my S3 bucket. Once all of that was working, I created a DNS zone on Route 53 and a record for my domain.

And that's it! With all of that I am able to deliver this site to you. Next step will be to version control the code and deploy a CI/CD pipeline so my site gets updated every time I post changes to it. I am guessing Joshua's post will again be of great help in that task. I'll provide the details about that part of the project in my next blog post.

Thanks for reading the post! I hope you've liked it and I look forward to bringing you the next one :)

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