GatsbyConf Q&A: “Getting Started with Gatsby” Workshop Instructors Obinna Ekwuno & Megan Sullivan

Michelle Gienow
February 26th, 2021

Want to try building your very first Gatsby site? Gatsby Software Engineer Obinna Ekwuno and Senior Software Engineer, Documentation, Megan Sullivan are leading Getting Started with Gatsby, sponsored by Contentstack.  The free half-day workshop will teach the core concepts behind using Gatsby, like querying data with GraphQL and working with a headless CMS. You’ll learn how to optimize for accessibility, routing and creating pages programmatically…And how to leverage the vast Gatsby ecosystem of starters, plugins, and themes to quickly create a fast, secure, scalable website — and deploy your site to live hosting for free, in minutes. Ready to sign up?  Fill in this registration form  (also, you must register for GatsbyConf in order to attend the workshop).

  1. How did you first learn about Gatsby? What is one of your favorite things about working with Gatsby?

    Megan: I learned about Gatsby on Twitter; I kept hearing people talking about it, and a few of the women in tech I followed had recently joined the team. At the time, I was just starting my own personal website, so I decided to give Gatsby a go!One of my favorite things about Gatsby is the plugin ecosystem. It makes adding new features so much faster than if I had to build them from scratch. Whenever I want to add something new to my site, my first thought is, “There’s probably a plugin for that.”

    Obinna: I learned about Gatsby through a livestream that Jason Lengstorf was hosting. The thing that really got me interested was the fact that src/pages turns to routes… I remember I was mind blown! What I love most about working with Gatsby is how it helps me focus on just building the thing I want to. Gatsby takes care of all the heavy lifting and allows me to add things with no hassle as I grow my project.

  2. The workshop you’re leading is designed to help people who have never used Gatsby before jump right in and get started. Is there anything helpful they can do to prepare

    Megan: Yes! Since we only have four hours to teach you all the Gatsby fundamentals, we’re assuming you have some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You don’t have to be an expert, but you should feel comfortable writing HTML, styling elements with classes, and creating functions. If you’re looking to brush up your skills, you can check out the Gatsby Web Creators playlist on YouTube, which should get you up to speed. If you’re new to React, we’ll cover the basics in the workshop. But if you want to prep beforehand, you can look up how to create components, how to use props, and how the children prop works.

    As far as preparing your computer, you’ll want to do the following:

    Obinna: Megan has said it all :).  Except it would be helpful for us in planning the workshop if everyone who wants to come can please register for the workshop (which is separate from registering for GatsbyConf, which you need to do in order to attend any workshop).  Fill out the workshop registration form here. 

  3. Megan, the project for the workshop is to have participants build a blog. Why is this a good “front door” for learning Gatsby? How does a blog site project pull together the various pieces of Gatsby knowledge that beginners need?

    Megan: I like building a blog as an introductory project because the requirements can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. In the version we’ll be building, you’ll learn about creating pages, using plugins, pulling into your site with GraphQL, working with images, and a bunch of other fun things. We’ve done our best to make the content as interactive as possible, so there will be a mix of some lecture from us and lots of hands-on work time for you.By the end of the workshop, you’ll have your very own Gatsby blog deployed online for all your friends to see!

  4. Obinna, you have taught Intro to Gatsby courses before. What’s new in this latest workshop? OR What’s your favorite thing about working with people on their first time using Gatsby?

    Obinna: I am so excited about the many improvements coming to Gatsby, but I can’t talk abou those here or it would spoil the big announcements happening on the first day of GatsbyConf next week.At the top of the list of things I can talk about 😉 is the all-new gatsby-plugin-image. Until now, handling images in Gatsby has mostly been tied to graphQL but this plugin gives you the ability to optimize your images from local files, or files hosted on remote URLs.Another thing that is super exciting for me is the File System Route API and its ease of sourcing and creating pages programmatically on the fly from 3rd party sources or local sources.I think my favorite thing about teaching people on their first time with Gatsby is that you kinda get to explain things better every time you get to do it, because you learn from them even as they are learning from you. Ultimately, the best part is the joy of seeing people learn with ease.

Ready to learn? Register for GatsbyConf to access ten free workshops, from beginner to advanced! We have two days of speakers, workshops, and some really cool launches and announcements. And don’t miss special event Gamer vs. Gatsby. Watch live as David Livingston, a.k.a. Kosmic, tries to beat his world record Super Mario Bros speed run time of 4:55 while Gatsby engineer Kyle Gill races to spin up and deploy a live site! Thrills! Chills! Free and virtual, March 2-3, see you there!

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Writes things @ GatsbyJS. Chaotic good frontend dev, caffeine addict, backyard chicken wrangler 🐓.

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