Year-in-Review (2018 Edition)

2018 was a big year! Here are just a few of the things that happened:

  • I began working as a frontend developer at Cast Iron Coding.
  • We moved to Portland, Oregon.
  • I helped launch an interactive, open-access digital edition of the first-ever translation of the Buddhist text Apadāna into English.
  • I redesigned my personal website.

In May, I left the freelance life to start doing web development full-time. My activity feed on Github captures the change pretty well. (Look at that new work-life balance!)

Github activity feed for 2018”

I grew a lot as a developer this year. I’m especially proud of the improvements I made in learning JavaScript. Before this year, my JS “skills” were sloppy and outdated. This past year, I gained some degree of fluency simply by using it every single day. I’ve obviously got a ton still to learn, but I don’t dread writing JavaScript anymore. (Coding in ES6 and React have certainly added to the fun!)

I’m also proud to have been involved in building v2.0 of Manifold, doing most of the frontend work for the app’s backend redesign, as well as a new feature in 2.0 called Project Collections. Working on this project has been a natural extension of my interests in Digital Humanities, but technically has been on a scale far more complex than anything I’ve ever worked on.

Meanwhile, I did deep dives into accessibility (with a nod to Inclusive Components) and managing icons (use SVG!), learned CSS Grid (🤗), and revisited approaches to CSS architecture and naming conventions (SCSS and BEM remain top-of-class).

Looking ahead to 2019

It was a great year, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow in 2019. Here are some of my goals:

  • become more skilled at progressive enhancement
  • make accessibility a core part of everything I build
  • learn how to better evaluate performance and accessibility
  • continue building my JavaScript skillset, including interaction with APIs, service workers, and higher proficiency with React

On the side, I’d really like to do some kind of side project inspired by Low-Tech Magazine and Minimal Computing. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I think it’ll be a stimulating and critical complement to my usual work.

Beyond this, I’m also hoping to blog more often, read at least one book a month, and meet some financial goals that have been a long time coming. Here’s to making it all happen!