Get to Know: Lukasz Gornicki and Static Site Generators

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Lukasz Gornicki, a Product Owner at SAP, presented “Static Site Generators are the Game Changers” at The LavaCon Conference in Dublin in May, and we are looking forward to seeing him in Portland! Thank you for joining us, Lukasz!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I started working as a technical writer six years ago. Previously, I was creating content as a Knowledge Manager, but it was not the same as writing documentation for software industry. I quickly grew more interested in content strategy and structure, and that’s when I became a Documentation Architect.

How did you first get interested in static site generators?

About three years ago, we started working on a new software product based on microservices and the cloud. After doing some research, I convinced the organization to start using static site generators. Then I became a product owner of the team that was implementing a documentation solution based on static site generators.

Can you give us a sneak preview of your talk (without giving too much away)?

I want to explain what static site generators are and which big companies are using them and how. I also plan to discuss why they need our attention and what we can achieve with them, such as the Content as a Service concept.

What is a typical day like for you?

Research, playing with new technologies, getting feedback from my customers and making sure my team delivers reliable product.

What would you recommend to someone who wanted to get started with static site generators?

First, define what you need. Do you want to play or find a generator to use at work? For work, you need to answer questions like, what you need it for? Do you have team that will implement it? What is the team’s preferred technology?

For play, I’ve listed some documentation templates for static site generators at https://github.com/derberg/docs-with-static-site-generators. Pick one, follow the readme to install it, and then try it. Play with the code to see how it affects the project and understand how it works. I’m preparing a workshop about “static site generators basics,” so you can also contact me for help. I will organize an online session and help you get started.

The most important thing is: don’t be afraid and think you are not a “technical person.” You do not need to be technical to get started. Instead, be brave enough to try and fail, and try and fail…until you are a pro. For me, static site generators were a career path changer. They pushed me towards programming and at the end, into product ownership. Learning something new always brings good things.

What do you do in your free time or when you are not working?

Plenty of things. I have three daughters, so I try to spend as much time as I can with them and my wife. I also do indoor climbing on Monday later afternoons. I am a huge fan of hiking. We have great mountains here in Poland, the Tatra Mountains. When I go abroad for business reasons, I try to hike over a weekend. This year, I hope I will finally go beyond 3000m and climb Mt. Hood, as for now my highest climb has been Mt. Musala in the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria.

I’m also trying to contribute to open source community when I have free time. When I was recovering after surgery earlier this year, I created a library for the community at https://github.com/derberg/arghun.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I like how I have influence over how people deliver documentation. And that I can innovate and break standards and suggest totally different approaches in writing, generating, and delivering documentation.

What are you looking forward to at LavaCon?

I want people to understand there are many different technologies that they can use. I want to point out the great community behind static site generators is and that others should follow. I hope to get a lot of feedback and to start an interesting discussion. I’m also interested in the other sessions from other people.

Want to learn more about static site generators? Register for The LavaCon Conference in Portland in November!

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