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That's my JAMstack

Bryan Robinson



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Espen Hovlandsdal on mixing static and dynamic, content management and more

Quick show notes Our Guest: Espen Hovlandsdal What he'd like for you to see: His JAMstack Jams: Mixing Dynamic and Static together | NextJS His Musical Jam: Russian Circles | Godspeed You! Black Emporer | If These Trees Could Talk Bryan Robinson 0:03 Hello, everyone and welcome to another exciting episode of That's my JAMstack - the podcast where we ask the fun filled question "What is your jam in the Jamstack?" I'm your host, Bryan Robinson. And this week, we have the amazing Espen Hovlandsdal from Bryan Robinson 0:17 Before we dive into that interview, we'll welcome back our sponsor for this week TakeShape. Stick around after the episode to find out more information about their content platform or head over to for more information. Bryan Robinson 0:33 Well, Espen, thanks for being on the show with us today. Espen Hovlandsdal 0:35 Sure, glad to be here. Bryan Robinson 0:37 Cool. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do for work? What do you do for fun, that sort of thing? Espen Hovlandsdal 0:41 Sure. So my name is Espen. And I work as a software engineer at a company called Most people will probably call Sanity, a headless CMS. But I tend to think of Sanity more as a platform for structured content. So we have like a hosted database in the cloud. And you got like an asset pipeline and a rich set of API's to talk to that database and to all like surrounding services. And of course, it's also got the actual open source, headless CMS that's based on React, which then talks to those API. So we're kind of a headless CMS built on the Jamstack. So it's been fun. Bryan Robinson 1:23 Cool. So how would you How would you differentiate - since you said you like to think of it as a structured content or structured data platform - how would you differentiate that between that and a CMS? Espen Hovlandsdal 1:34 So our API is kind of the first piece that we built. So we put a lot of effort into making sure that the API's are really like, great to work with. They're very flexible in terms of how you can query for data, how you mutate data that's based on like a very fine grained patch system. And you also have like transaction history. So you can go in and see all the changes that have happened over time to the document. And so it's sort of building the API first and then putting a sort of CMS on top of that, that talks to those API. So we sort of dog food all the all the API is through that product. Bryan Robinson 2:15 Okay. Very cool. So so it's it's more of an API that happens to also have a product in front of it that is a CMS. Espen Hovlandsdal 2:21 Yeah, kind of. Yeah. Bryan Robinson 2:22 Very cool. So what do you do for fun? That's what you do for work. What were you doing in your free time? Espen Hovlandsdal 2:28 I moved to San Francisco from Norway in August last year. So I've been sort of getting to know the city and the country. So that's been interesting. Now with the Corona lockdown and stuff. I've had less time to explore the city, but I've been playing a lot of video games for the past few weeks and also try not to do too much coding in my spare time, but that's like, I feel like I have a valid excuse for that these days. At least. Bryan Robinson 2:58 True. Yeah, I can definitely understand that. What games are you playing right now? Espen Hovlandsdal 3:02 I've been going back to The Witcher 3, which I'm quite fond of, and playing a lot of Civilization as well. Bryan Robinson 3:10 Civilization if you if you have spare time, and you just want to get rid of that third time, that's the game for you. Espen Hovlandsdal 3:16 Eight hours fly by; your whole weekend this there. Bryan Robinson 3:21 So so obviously you're well versed and kind of in depth in the Jamstack world being part of a structured da

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