Looking Back at 2022 — My First Year of Blogging

One year ago, I took the course “Full Stack for Front-End Engineers” at Frontend Masters. I set up my own web server, bought a domain and started a web development blog using the Gatsby framework. 12 months and 18 blog posts later, I would like to reflect on the past year and set some goals for 2023.

People celebrate and raise glasses of wine for a toast. Photo: © cottonbro studio / pexels.com

In general, I truly enjoy writing articles on a regular basis. I actually moved to Vienna in 2006 to study journalism. I've also worked for some media organizations. But it wasn't the right fit and I returned to coding. So, it really feels good to kind of combine my two passions.

What I've Learned this Year

  • First of all, how to set up my own web server, manage a domain, create an SSL certificate, and so on. It felt good to leave my comfort zone and try something new!
  • How to automate my build and deploy workflow with GitHub Actions.
  • That I love to experiment with new features like the native <dialog> HTML element or the :focus-visible CSS pseudo-class. It's a great challenge to explain the concept and functionality in a succinct way and provide useful demo code.
  • I became familiar with RSS and learned how to provide my own RSS feed. You can subscribe here.

My Favorite Blog Posts

It's hard to pick my favorites among the 18 blog posts I've written this year. Therefore, I simply picked three posts about topics that I deem especially relevant and exciting:

  1. “Common ARIA mistakes and how to avoid them”: It's great that more and more companies realize the importance of accessibility. Unfortunately, a lot of them go overboard with ARIA, sometimes making their website even less accessible. I hope my blog post helps developers to better understand ARIA and avoid bad practices.
  2. “Using CSS Cascade Layers in Angular”: 2022 was a pretty great year for CSS. Among the exciting new features adopted by modern browsers were CSS cascade layers. They're a powerful tool to structure your styles and avoid pesky conflicts due to specificity or order of appearance.
  3. “Lights Off! Experience how Blind Users navigate the Web”: A few weeks ago, I gave a workshop on accessibility for a new client. Using my demo page, I turned everything black and used a screen reader to navigate the website. The participants were truly amazed. One of them said: “I didn't know that blind people can even use the internet!” This taught me once more: People need to experience the effects of disabilities to truly appreciate accessibility.

Goals and Expectations for 2023

As a web developer, I'm pretty excited for the new year. There's a lot of new features on the horizon that should make our lives easier. As a human being, I just hope for the terrible war in Ukraine to end. And for humanity to tackle climate change head-on!

Anyway, here's a list of goals for 2023 as well as topics I'd like to write about in the coming year:

  • I want to turn my social media interactions into Webmentions and display them on my blog.
  • Flexbox or Grid? I want to deepen my knowledge about CSS layouts and experiment with new features like CSS Subgrid.
  • I'd like to improve my skills as a Requirements Engineer and Software Architect and write about what I've learned.
  • Attending more developer conferences and maybe giving a talk some day. Hosting local events could be awesome too.
  • Last but not least: Continue writing about accessibility.

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