I don't think I have to tell anyone why this year sucked, what with the pandemic and all. 2020 is going down in history as a massive crapstorm.
Still, I want to continue the tradition of “end-of-the-year” blogposts and since there’s already enough doom out there these days, I’m trying to focus on the good things that happened instead.
The web industry is among the fortunate ones that are very well suited for remote and distributed work, which is why I was able to keep working from home throughout most of the year.
We rented a great new office in the spring that I’ve hardly been to since, but our team at Codista is quite used to working remote and we already had all the necessary infrastructure in place.
We had more than enough projects on our hands and we did some really interesting, challenging stuff that I can’t talk about (yet) 😉 - so all in all, work was good.
I wrote nine posts in 2020 - which is fewer than last year, but all things considered, that’s ok. The most popular ones were:
- The Return of the 90s Web: a look at some early trends on the web and how they might be resurrected
- The Emergency Website Kit: an attempt to build a template for critical information websites
- Color Theme Switcher: a case study of this blog’s weird color scheme feature (see header)
# Side Projects
When the first lockdown hit, I kept occupied by building things - mostly in and around Eleventy, which helped me get ideas off the ground quickly. Here are some of these:
Eleventastic: my personal starter kit for Eleventy projects. I wanted to get rid of “external” build tools like Gulp and manage all pipelines inside Eleventy itself.
Eleventy Resumé: a simple microsite that functions as a CV/Resumé in web and print.
Whimsical Website Club: a collection of websites that spark joy by doing things a little bit less serious.
I had some talks planned for 2020 which of course didn’t happen. I did a few online talks though and I participated in Inclusive Design 24, a free 24-hour livestream event where I talked about another side project, the “Emergency Website Kit”:
The Webclerks team and I had the pleasure of hosting our own little virtual meetup event “Vienna Calling” on Twitch, and we had a phenomenal lineup. A big thank you again to all the speakers who joined us, as well as the rest of the team who made this happen behind the scenes.
BTW: You can find the full event as a playlist on Youtube:
In the summer, the situation improved enough for me and my girlfriend to take some much needed vacation time. With international travel still closed, we decided to go on a road trip through Austria instead and it was awesome. This country has some really beautiful places in store.
# We need the Web
This year, more than ever, I realized the enormous impact the web has on all of us, and how important it is to keep it free and open. I know we’re all sick of doing things online all the time, but imagine for a moment what this year would have looked like had the web never been invented.
Millions of people would be completely isolated, even more would be out of their jobs. Schools could not operate. Civil rights movements would be almost impossible to organize. Global research projects like the development of a vaccine would take years longer. And you probably wouldn’t have seen the faces of your loved ones in months.
The web has become such an integral part of our lives that we sometimes take it for granted. It’s not. In fact this shitshow of a year should probably remind us that we need to take really good care of the things that are still connecting us.
Goals for 2021
I’m not going to compare my goals from last year with what I’ve accomplished in 2020. I don’t think it matters. Give yourself a break this year - it’s OK if things didn’t turn out the way you wanted.
I’ll see you all in 2021. And hopefully we’ll all have a vaccine in our system and a better year ahead of us.
# Other Year-in-Review Posts
Have you written one of these yourself? Let me know and get added here.