2022 in review

With only a few days left 2022, I wanted to review some of my 2022, including speaking, reading, music, writing and travel. Let's go!

Note: like in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017, in this public post I mostly sum up “highlights“, stuff I liked about the year etc. Of course, life is more complex and less structured than posts like this make it out to be.


From February, I started working full time at Sanity.io, we focus on making content management pleasant for everyone involved. I'm in the developer relations team, with a focus on things like documentation, starters, videos and workshops. The problems are intriguing, they are both technical (like real time multiplayer content editing) and organisational (like cross functional collaboration). I'm enjoying being in a place where I can learn a lot and contribute a lot of my experience at the same time. I feel lucky with great colleagues. Some things we released this year: Sanity Studio v3 (customisable SPA to edit content), GROQ 1.0 (language to query content) and an /accessibility page following an accessibility review of Sanity Studio.

This year I did only minimal accessibility consulting. including reviews and presentations for UWV, a Dutch governmental organisation focused on employment and unemployment, DigiD, the Dutch digital government identity and MDN/Mozilla.

I am also still involved in Open UI CG, where I try to learn and contribute: I scribe sometimes, join discussions where I can and talk about the work at events. This year, we got a lot done on <selectmenu> and popover. See my posts on customisable selects and dialogs vs popovers.


This year had many more in person events, and I have loved speaking in person at JSConf in Budapest, EuroIA in Marseille and State of the Browser in London. Most talks were about accessibility, some about CSS, HTML and content.

In 2023 I want to talk about the nitty gritty of building popovers and the power of systems that use composability as design principle (see the Speaking page).

These are the talks I did in 2022:


In total, I read about 30 books this year, still a mix of physical, ebooks and audiobooks.

On technology, I loved Blockchain chicken farm by Xiaowei Wang. “Hustle culture” isn't just a Silicon Valley thing, it's there in rural China. From “e-commerce villages” that solely focus on producing for Taobao to free range chicken on the blockchain (of course it added no value). Awesome mix of technology, travels, encounters, food and how the world and life works from an original thinker. Original thinking was also in Ways of being by James Bridle, about artificial intelligence, ecology and the relationship between the humans and the ‘more than human’ world. He critiques the idea that the world, all of the world, can be computed and represented in data points. He shows why that would be a limited way of thinking. It's a little vague sometimes, according to Cory Doctorow that's because the book argues against crisp articulations themselves.

Two books I liked about identity and cultures were Takeaway and If I surivive you. Takeaway by Angela Hui is about what it's like to grow up in rural Wales when your parents run a takeaway. Often entertaining, often touching tale of family relationships, finding identy and racial abuse. Food is a central theme too, the recipe each chapter ends with was a nice touch. I found If I survive you, by James Escoffery, a very well written collection of short stories about a Jamaican family in America, about existing between two cultures, capitalism and being black in America.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Erasmus: dwarsdenker a biography of the philosopher/theologician Erasmus (in Dutch). Didn't know Erasmus spent lots of time begging patrons to fund him, so that he could write, travelled a lot (UK, Germany, Belgium and France, by horse and ship), got ‘jobs’ in the church that came with a livelong salary without requiring him to actually do the job (this was a thing at the time, Erasmus had his in Aldington, UK and Kortrijk, Belgium) and Erasmus had criticasters who published their criticisms anonymously and circulated lists of criticisms on his New Testament, mixed with gossip about his life and history. Glad we don't do any of that anymore. Oh wait…


This year I listened a lot to:

  • Kendrick Lamar's new album Mr Morale and the Big Steppers, which was my first introduction to his music and got me ready to explore all the earlier albums that everyone had been raving about. A colleague recommended the Dissect podcast, which explains To Pimp a Butterfly track by track in hour long episodes.
  • Nubya Garcia's Source remix album: saw her live in Rotterdam and have had her Tiny Desk and BBC Proms (posted last month) gigs on repeat
  • WIES, Froukje, Joost Klein and Hang Youth: there has been a resurge in Dutch artists performing in Dutch (English has been more common), loved the Bandje pun on the Dutch Prime Minister's dismissive attitude towards the performing arts and ‘Met je Ako ideologie’ on getting one's world view from the train station's best selling non fiction (not making this up)
  • Robert Glasper's Black Radio 3 was my favourite album, where jazz and hiphop meet. Beautiful spoken word on a Radiohead-esque melody in the opening track and lots of collaborations with people like Esparanza Spalding and A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip (on one track) throughout.


I finally added some more useful categories to this blog, moved to a veey short domain (it's just hidde.blog) and published about 30 posts this year. I'm most happy with:


San Francisco, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Oslo, Paris, Marseille, London (5 times), Brighton, Antwerp, Lille, various towns in Normandy and Taipei.

It's especially been nice to meet international internet friends in person, many for the first time, like Nicole, Tantek, Yulia, Vadim, HJ, Adam, Una, Gift, Adrian, Manjula, Ana, Jeremy, Michelle, Mu-An, Bruce, Andy, Sophie, Léonie, Anuradha, Jhey and Patrick. Plus almost all of my colleagues.


That's all for this year, thanks all for reading my posts, liking subcribing, disagreeing via email, everything! If you've posted a year in review, let me know, I'd love to read it!

Comments, likes & shares (32)

@hdv jeez, you’ve been busy this year — those are many highlights.I’m writing one too, but settled with an overarching theme/major event. It’s interesting how systematic yours is and how much you remember. My year is just a blur, which might explain our different formats. Fascinating.
@timsev I’m glad you share that impression as I didn’t remember most of it tbh, had to check a lot of, eh, notes
@timsev looking forward to read yours!
@hdv sounds like a very fun and productive year you had. :)
@matuzo ha do you believe I was actually convinced I had been insufficiently productive 😃 but making a list made me realise I should do less next year!
@timsev @hdv I like reading different all these year in review posts, although it makes me realise I'm not doing a lot. Or maybe writing such a post just makes you realise you actually did a lot. Hmm...
@hdv congratulations on a successful year 🎉 And for being first out of the gate with the end-of-year review posts! 😄
@bnijenhuis @hdv I get similar feelings, and I guess the cause is multifaceted. First, writing them down gives a good overview you may miss or won’t acknowledge otherwise. Second, people may just be not as impressed by their own accomplishments for whatever reason. Third and last is that not all work leads to a tangible highlight, whereas others might take time to do other things, like speaking and launch side-projects. That doesn’t mean you did less!
@hdv Thanks, Hidde! Happy new year!
@sally You too!