2020 in Review

Photo of a sunset

2020 was a difficult year for most of us. In spite of everything going on it the world, when I sat down to review the past year I was pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish. Here’s a few of the things I was to accomplish over the past year:

Successful Year as a Web Designer

I completed my first year as a web designer at my current company. I spent a good amount of time optimizing my workflow to enable the faster resolution of tickets. This included creating my own library of code snippets. I also continued to learn more about the capabilities of the custom CMS platform used at my company. This included deepening my knowledge of Bootstrap and learning to make effective use of an image CDN.

Freelance Projects

Outside of my day job, I was able to complete a few freelance projects. These include launching some WordPress sites which were my first making use of the Gutenberg block editor. I was very impressed by the flexibility of the block editor and think it will empower people to make a lot of exciting layout changes on their own without needing to contact a developer.

I also migrated a several year old WordPress project away from WordPress and converted it to GatsbyJS. It was my first conversion, but I can definitely see myself going this route in the future for freelance projects. Gatsby offers a very fast framework and a ton of modern conveniences, all while enabling developers to write in React. Some things still feel harder than they need to be, but as the platform matures it will only get better.

Modern CSS

Over the past year I pushed myself to learn more about modern CSS. I’m continually impressed by the power of CSS. I was able to experiment creating some layouts using CSS Grid and began using CSS Custom Properties.

Accessibility

From my days doing web development for non-profit organizations I have always had an interest in web accessibility. I try my best to do the basics on every project, but over the past year I had the chance to deepen my understanding. I completed the four-week “Introduction to Web Accessibility” course from the W3C as well the LinkedIn Learning “Accessibility for Web Designers” course. I have enjoyed putting what I have learned into practice and was particularly happy to have the opportunity to do some accessibility audits and fixes at my company.

TypeScript

I closed out the year by beginning to learn TypeScript. I read a book and took a couple of courses through LinkedIn Learning, including one on using TypeScript in React (my preferred framework). I definitely enjoyed learning more about TypeScript. I’m not an expert or evangelist yet, but I definitely think that I’m going to do any future side projects in TypeScript.