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2020 Year in Review

ambrwlsn profile image Amber Originally published at amberwilson.co.uk on ใƒป4 min read

I got the idea to write a my first ever retrospective for the year from Monica Lent. ๐Ÿ™

What a year it has been. Back in February I had no idea what the rest of the year was going to look like. I even attended a comedy night in Berlin where one of the comedians joked that she had coronavirus, and the audience actually found it genuinely funny!

I didn't get to fly and visit any of my family or international friends this year, which has honestly sucked. I also don't see much of my local friends and family. I really miss everyone and it feels like a piece of me is missing. The pandemic has also delayed several of my important appointments.

However, despite the pandemic and its effects on me this year, I am under no illusion of my privilege:

I am happy. I am loved. I have a roof over my head. I am fed. I have disposable income. I enjoy my job. I am warm. I am healthy. I am educated. I have prospects. I have time. I can pursue hobbies. I am safe. I feel included.

Have you checked your privilege today?

โ€” Amber Wilson (@ambrwlsn90) November 10, 2020

Anyway, in this post I want to try and focus on what I learned and achieved as a web engineer this year.

What I set out to do in 2020

For 2020, I did not set out with a particular goal in mind. I was happy to go with the flow, work hard at my job, and maybe write a couple of blog posts on the side.

One reason I may not have set goals for myself this year is because I had been working towards getting promoted to a mid-level web engineer since October 2019. I got promoted in March. I was pleased with this and did not make any more solid professional goals.

For 2021, this is going to change. I've definitely got some plans for 2021. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Top 5 Articles Released in 2020

My posts on accessibilty and owning your own data did well this year!

  1. Are Your Anchor Links Accessible?
  2. From Gatsby to Eleventy
  3. Grow the IndieWeb with Webmentions
  4. How and when to use React useCallback()
  5. Caches are for Copies

I've been using Plausible Analytics since mid-November and the above list is based on page views from there.

Achievements in 2020

It felt really good to remember things I achieved this year:

  • Got promoted to mid-level frontend engineer.

  • Wrote 16 blog posts (averaging 1 post every ~23 days).

  • Read 12 books (I wanted to read more than twice this - oops! I'll do better next year).

  • Spoke on my first web podcast.

  • Set up my own home office space that I'm quite pleased with.

  • Coached remotely at codebar Berlin.

  • Re-designed and re-wrote my site with a static site generator called Eleventy, which turned out to be the most fun I've had coding all year.

  • Began a CS50 course with some nice people, so I can dive into some fundamental computer science topics.

  • Cooked a lot of new meals and made a recipe book so I can remember them.

  • Got around 40 new plants, ยพthree quarters of which I managed to keep alive.

Thanks I want to give

I want to thank a few people this year:

  • My partner for being amazing as always. You know why you're awesome!

  • Jeremy Keith for his support, mentorship, and being my most fave person ever to debate the web with.

  • Kitty for their support, mentorship, and enviable ability to make pretty much anything.

  • Eva for being a bright light in the murkiness of this year, and getting people motivated to socialise and learn together.

  • Kristian for keeping codebar Berlin alive and kicking while staying as cool, calm, and collected as ever.

The whole of the web community this year has, as usual, been my rock. I can always count on my web friends to lift me up, support me, and motivate me to be the best I can be. I'm looking forward to being a part of this amazing community again next year. Huge love to everyone who is a part of it. โ™ฅ

Plans for 2021

  • Create a Career Management Document. In short, this involves writing down personal and professional achievements at least once a week. It helps you remember what you've done and learned, and helps you show this off to employers!

  • Write 3 to 4 blog posts a month. By the end of the year, this means I would have written at least 36 blog posts. That's more than twice the amount I wrote this year! I want to write this many because there is so much I want to learn.

  • If I don't understand something, research it and write about it.

  • Be aware of the "curse of knowledge" and continue to write posts that developers of all levels can follow along with.

  • Read 30 books!

  • Do more codewars challenges.

  • Write at least one codewars challenge.

  • Coach at least 5 times in a virtual codebar workshop.

  • Record a video post and/or hold a live stream to teach something about web development.

  • Make an Eleventy plugin (e.g. for Webmentions).

  • Make more cute things, because the web is a place of expression where you can let your creativity roam free. โœจ

Happy New Year!

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