2022 in review

— 10 minute read

It's my first time doing one of these, but I wanted to take a little time to look back at the year that was.

Writing permalink

I wrote 12 articles this year (excluding posts that were linking to other content), which feels good to me. I'd always like to write more, but I have more ideas than time and an average of 1 a month feels like a good pace. My favorite posts were the ones where I did a deep dive on integrating Svelte with "something else"—the experimental view transition API, 11ty's framework-agnostic partial hydration solution, and Vercel's Satori library for custom og:images. For me, writing about something makes it real—if nothing else, so I can look back at my article titles from the last year and remember what I did.

My most popular post from this year was on Svelte's new style directive (~5k views), mostly from Google traffic—I assume it ranks well for "svelte style directive." My most popular overall was The many meanings of $ in Svelte (~6k views), which I wrote at the end of 2021 but also gets a consistent stream of traffic from Google.

I also did one freelance article for an external outlet—I wrote for Upstash on combining SvelteKit, Upstash Redis, and Vercel edge functions.

Speaking permalink

I had a few speaking appearances this year:

  • I introduced Svelte and contributing to open source on 20minJS
  • I guested on Svelte Radio to talk about using Svelte at work and life so far as a core team member
  • I also introduced Svelte on the TKYT YouTube show. This one was extra fun, since we built a small Star Wars watching order app and got to touch on almost all the basics of Svelte
  • I gave one remote meetup talk for Svelte London on native page transitions in SvelteKit

All were very fun, though a little stressful beforehand, since I didn't always know where the conversation would go. I usually like to do a lot of prep work, which can be time consuming. However, I'd still love to do more of this in 2023!

Open source permalink

In January 2022 I was asked to join the Svelte core team, which was an incredible honor. It was very exciting to see SvelteKit develop from the inside and all the work that goes with it. Most of my contributions focused around accessibility and trying to make sure that SvelteKit and the docs site are accessible, as well as providing feedback around new Svelte/SvelteKit API features and proposals. The contribution I'm most proud of was writing up some dedicated docs around SvelteKit and accessibility, and I really appreciated the reviews on that content from Melanie Sumner and Matthew Gibbons. In the new year, I definitely want to take a look at other accessible patterns we can document, as well as seeing if there's anything we can do to make our client-side routing more accessible—there's already been some Twitter feedback around that.

I also continued to maintain my SvelteKit adapter for Azure Static Web Apps. Most of this was keeping up with the breaking changes in the adapter API when SvelteKit was pre-1.0. I also got some PRs from external contributors, which was fun to see! I'm hoping to get this package to 1.0 this year—there are just some configuration things to work out first.

Personal life permalink

Two big things happened to me personally this year. First, my wife and I bought our first house in April, and moved in May. While there has been a ton to get done, we're very happy to have our own space. The cats took a little while to adjust, but they eventually settled right in and appreciated all the extra windows.

Second, in August I left Alaska Airlines, where I had been for four years, and accepted a fully-remote role at Ordergroove, a startup in the e-commerce subscription space. I hugely appreciated my time and growth at Alaska, where I was a major contributor to our open-source design system and got to introduce Svelte, but it was time to take on some new challenges. I've been enjoying the new role and look forward to everything to come this year.

I was also hoping to make it to Svelte Summit in Stockholm in September 2022, but unfortunately got Covid only a couple days before leaving. Hopefully I make it this year—there are so many from the Svelte community I want to meet!

Finally, I did rethink my approach to social media a bit with all the upheaval at Twitter. It was a good reminder that social media is ephemeral, and you should be posting anything you care about on your personal site. Going forward, I want to be more intentional about posting content here that I would previously only tweet out, like random demos. I also have an account on Mastodon now, and I've enjoyed being a part of the community over there. For now, I'll still be posting new articles over on Twitter (and Mastodon), but any other musings will probably stay on Mastodon. (And if you are using Mastodon, I recommend giving the Elk client a try!)

Goals permalink

I have a few goals in 2023:

  • I want to read more prose. I read 14 prose books last year; this year I'd like to at least hit 20. I used to read a lot more than this, so I just need to be more intentional with how I spend my time.
  • I want to continue to write an average of 1 blog post a month.
  • I want to give a talk somewhere (meetup/conference/etc)

Favorite media of the year permalink

On the off chance you care about my taste in media, here's what I enjoyed this year.

For video games, the game I played the most was the new Lego Star Wars, which was a blast (though I wouldn't have sunk nearly as many hours in it if I wasn't also listening to a podcast and recovering from Covid at the same time.) Even though it didn't come out this year, I also played a lot of Picross 3D for the Nintendo DS, another good podcast game. Honorable mentions: Return to Monkey Island, Shovel Knight Dig, 999 (from 2010)

Speaking of podcasts, my podcast listening time has gone down a bit since I stopped commuting, which is a blessing and a curse. Thankfully (?), the new house doesn't have a dishwashwer, so the dishwashing time has been making up for it. My absolute favorite podcasts have been Svelte Radio (of course), My Marvelous Year (a book club going through a curated list of Marvel comics), and A More Civilized Age (a Star Wars: The Clone Wars podcast)—these are the podcasts I listen to every episode of. Honorable mentions: Strong Songs (music analysis), Triple Click & Waypoint Radio (gaming), Shop Talk Show (web dev), Off Panel (comics interviews), Mangasplaining (manga book club)

For movies, the most fun I had in a theater was Glass Onion which I saw with the whole family after Thanksgiving. Just a wonderful rollercoaster of a whodunnit that never quite goes where you expect. RRR was also an Experience, though in a completely different way. In the words of Patrick Willems, "the best movie ever made about fighting colonialism with dance battles and armies of rampaging animals and most of all, friendship." And I also watched the Mission Impossible series for the first time, which was a great way to recover from Covid. Honorable mentions: Everything Everywhere All At Once, Avatar: The Way of Water, Nope, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Turning Red, AmbuLAnce

For TV, my show of the year had to be Star Wars: Andor, an extremely well-written and well-paced show about the rise of the rebellion. Having it released weekly enriched the experience, since the anticipation and discussion between episodes was part of the fun. That prison arc on Narkina 5... hoo boy. Honorable mentions: Severance, Our Flag Means Death, Only Murders in the Building, The Rehearsal, The Boys, House of the Dragon

I didn't read as much prose as I'd like this year, but my favorite book was Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett, which concluded The Founders trilogy. I really recommend the trilogy if you like Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, especially if you are in the software field—the magic system in these books revolves around "scriving", essentially programming objects to do extraordinary things. From Tor.com's review of the first book:

Utilizing a complicated alphabet left behind by ancient, almost mythological figures called the Hierophants, mankind has figured out how to imbue everyday objects with something akin to sentience and convince these objects to do work for them. Some scrivings can convince wheels to move across flat surfaces as though they were rolling downhill. Others tell a sword that it is as sharp as ten blades in one, capable of cutting through nearly anything. Others tell a candle that it can never burn out. And in this world of scrivings, the four major Merchant Houses all vie for dominance in their enormous campuses, while outside of them, people like Sancia Grado cobble together enough to survive.

I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to remember what happened in the previous two, though (which I read two years ago). Honorable mentions: Star Wars: Brotherhood, The Lost Metal, Leviathan Falls

I did read a lot of comics, though—mostly along with various "book club"-style podcasts I listen to (so a selection of manga and Marvel comics 1994-2000), but also some self-directed reading. My favorite was James Tynion IV's The Nice House on the Lake, where old friends are invited to a lake house for a getaway, and well... things happen. To say any more would ruin the experience, so if you have any interest at all, I recommend reading it without looking up more about it. I'm really looking forward to the second (concluding) volume later this year. I also read a bunch of the manga Blue Giant about a rising jazz saxophonist, which was another great read. Honorable mentions: A.X.E.: Judgment Day, MacKay's Moon Knight, Cantwell's Iron Man, Newburn

Most of the music I listen to is video game music. My favorite soundtrack of the year was Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which varies between the kind of cheerful music you'd expect from a Kirby game to a 5+ minute prog jazz epic. I also really enjoyed Shovel Knight Dig, which had a bunch of energetic Sega-inspired chiptunes—Jake Kaufman always delivers the goods. And of course, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 delivered a heaping portion (10, 11 hours?) of some of the best JRPG music ever. Honorable mentions: Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, Sonic Frontiers, TUNIC

On the non-VGM front, my favorite album was Jukebox the Ghost's Cheers, a wonderful album of Queen-inspired piano-driven rock. I also played a lot of Carlos Eiene's debut Insane in the Rain, a collection of original jazz fusion tunes that nonetheless are influenced by the style of Japanese video game music.

Wrapping up permalink

So that's the year that was—hard to believe that was all this year! Here's to an even better 2023.

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