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
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.
These are the talks I did in 2022:
- The Next Web on why that's not “Web3” for SendCloud (remote)
- A toolkit for web accessibility on the “toolkit” edition of Beyond Tellerrand's Stay Curious event (where Stephanie presented her awesome toolkit for CSS) (remote)
- It's the markup that matters at JSConf Budapest and Modern Front-ends Live
- Shifting left, or: making accessibility easier by doing it earlier at DevOps Amsterdam (remote), the Sanity July meetup (remote) and State of the Browser
- Editor experiences that your team will love, a workshop, at React India (remote) and React Summit Amsterdam (remote)
- More to give than just the div: semantics and how to get them right at Frontmania
- Your CMS is an accessibility assistant at IAAP-EU (remote)
- Cross-functional collaboration for structured content, a workshop at EuroIA and Structured Content Conference, developed by my colleague Carrie Hane, co-facilitated by my colleague Simeon Griggs
- Styling selects? You've got options!, a lightning talk at CSS Day + CSS Café
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:
- Dialogs, modals and popovers seem different: how are they different: a deep dive into these common patterns, with many thanks to Adrian Roselli and Scott O'Hara for their review help
- “That's not accessible!” and other statements about accessibility
- ATAG: the standard for the accessibility of content creation, I learned a lot about ATAG while I was at W3C and this was my personal plain language version
- The web doesn't have version numbers, the industry continued to surprise me with its dreams of making everything about money and ‘on’ an inefficient database (I'm also feel the ‘metaverse’ is a non-sensical investment)
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!