2017 in review

Published 2017-12-29 category: personal

Inspired by Nienke, I’d like to share some of my highlights and learnings of 2017.



2017 was the first full year working via my Dutch company, after I had hiddedevries.nl Limited struck off the English companies registry as part of my personal Brexit. The Dutch company was there since January 2007. It’s been over ten years now, but it feels so much shorter.

This year, I really, really wanted to focus on work with social impact (in government, culture or non-profit). How millennial! But really. In a world that is more and more powered by technology, choosing what kind of technology to work on and which people benefit from that technology seemed super important. This was not easy per se. If I’m honest, as a contractor, the kind of work I can do largely depends on what kind of projects I am approached for. Recruiters usually laughed when I mentioned my preference. But I feel it would be sad if all the bright minds of our industry helped some webshop create a better checkout flow and sell more tvs, if we could have helped citizens get the support they need. I tried being proactive, but luck and chance were probably as important. Anyway, I got to do some pretty impactful projects this year.

Conferences and events

I have attended a couple of conferences this year:


This year I also stepped out of my comfort zone and did my first public speaking, thanks to Niels and Léonie for encouraging me.

Also to my own surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed preparing and giving talks. So much, that I would love to do more in 2018. Nothing much planned so far, but the CSS Layout workshop is running again and there may be another workshop in the first half of 2018.


On this blog I published 32 posts, some longer than others, some more interesting than others. There were also many posts that did not make it past the Draft stage, I guess that will always be the case. Writing can take up a lot of time, but I can recommend it to everyone working in the web field. It helps understand stuff better, can expose what you don’t know yet and also just to align thoughts.

These are some of the most read:


On April 1st this year I stopped volunteering at Fronteers, after over 8 years. It’s been a lot of fun and I learned a lot, yet it felt very good to step down.

The decision has given me a lot of free time, which was good. But I couldn’t really help myself and did organise a small event with Sharon: a film screening of Hanzi the movie, its European premiere. Responses were great, some people even suggested we could do a monthly design documentary meetup in Rotterdam. That would be very cool.

Things I learned

Finally, some random things I learned:

Some resolutions for the next year:

I am looking forward to 2018. Happy new year!

Comments, likes & shares (25)

, Shaun Bent , wolfr, Marc Stalfoort, Pieter Colpaert, Dean Birkett, Harry, Pat Twit, Krijn Hoetmer, nienke, , Job , Phil Thompson, Kaj Rietberg, Anne van Kesteren and Jeroen Hulscher liked this

Léonie Watson tink@toot.cafe and wolfr reposted this

Highly impressed by your achievements and progress this year. Truly remarkable. Keep up the good work!
Hidde wrote on 29 December 2017:
dankjewel, Bram, superleuk om te horen!
Bram Willemse wrote on 29 December 2017:
Mooie afsluiter, Hidde. Ik heb je met plezier gevolgd, zien groeien én in de spotlight zien treden. Great success!

Dank voor het delen en blijf dat komend jaar vooral doen
Hidde wrote on 29 December 2017:
thanks man!
nienke wrote on 30 December 2017:
Wow, supermooie lijst!
Job wrote on 30 December 2017:
Wat een prachtjaar. Super bezig Hidde, en al het beste voor 2018
Jeroen Hulscher wrote on 30 December 2017: