Last time I wrote one of these recaps was in 2016. Not sure why I waited three years to write another, and from now on I'll try to do these annually.
2019 was a good year for me, and I want to highlight a couple of things.
I'm really proud of my blog. And judging by the analytics, people are actually reading it - this year I had over 100k users visiting and ~85% of the traffic is coming from the organic search! This is not the first blog I had, but this is the one I'm sticking with.
I love how there is a dip every single weekend. People are finding my articles almost exclusively on work days, probably while searching for work related problems.
But the bounce rate is also high, almost 85%. After reading one article users are not sticking for long. That is something I want to improve in the next year.
It has been a while since I started working with Work & Co, and it continues to be a wonderful experience. I'm thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with such talented people. To top it all, this October I was promoted to a Group Technology Director.
One of the projects I had a pleasure of working on this year was Mailchimp Presents. We teamed up with Mailchimp to help them create a brand new media portal. It was a short timeline, but it was a breeze as people from Mailchimp were brilliant to work with. The fact my team crushed it helped as well.
It was built around mantra "content is king" and we dedicated a lot of attention to the content recirculation. All shows are Mailchimp originals, and they did incredible job with them. Production is world class, and content is in a short, snackable format for people on the go. You should definitely check it out yourself.
We built it using Gatsby (React static site generator) and Contentful (using GraphQL API). The stack helped us to move fast and to ship the product in time. The reception was incredible, people love the shows, and conversion numbers are really high.
This September, in Copenhagen I gave a talk about Mailchimp Presents on the Contentful Meetup.
We have ongoing collaboration with IKEA on multiple fronts. I lead one track, on the new web experience. Like with Mailchimp, working with people from IKEA is a productive and pleasant experience.
We are extremely proud of our work and collaboration with IKEA. I hope I will be able to share more about it soon.
This is one of the things I've created this year, but haven't written about. I lost a huge post draft (while replacing keybord on MacBook, Apple support killed my disk, and I lost everything on it.) on it. Anyway, I'm talking about Vertigo.
Vertigo takes an image, processes it and renders it on radial dot grid or as a spiral of a variable width. Sounds confusing but just check the example below. This was so fun to make, and I learned about canvas and SVG things I never touched before. I plan to do a full write up, and a nicer landing page for it. If you end up using it please share your work, I would love to see it.
There has been a big increase in number of downloads of my npm packages. I was thrilled when it surpassed 1 million last year, and didn't expect it to go over 4 millions this year! react-animate-height is still at the first place, but I'm really happy to see react-plx getting some traction too.
One library I hoped would gain more traction is redux-spark. We (I wrote it together with my friend Radoš.) haven't marketed it at all, but we think it is a nifty little thing, as it significantly reduces boilerplate when working with redux and sagas.
It seems that people are experimenting with other state management libraries, but if you are still using redux, I recommend you try Spark. We are already using it on multiple projects in production and people generally love it.
My girlfriend and I had a fantastic trip to Australia and New Zealand. We went scuba diving on the Great Coral Reef (where we saw sharks), visited Hobbiton, seen glowing worms cave, petted kangaroos and much more. It was a really action packed vacation. People in both Australia and New Zealand are incredibly kind and warm hearted, and I wouldn't mind visiting again.
Not everything was great this year. I lost a dear family member. It was a really big hit for my family and myself. We are slowly learning to cope with it. I can't emphasize how much my girlfriend helped me, and carried me through the worst. To honor the memory, I'm working on a small project and I will unveil it in 2020.
- Create even more stuff.
- Continue working on my blog. That includes both writing and improving the experience.
- Read more books. I haven't read that many books this year and that has to change.
- Play guitar more. This one is long overdue.
- Last but not the least, travel.
Anyway, thank you for reading my blog, see you next year!