Martin Schneider

Goodbye 2020! 🥂 Hello 2021!

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While I’m struggling more than ever to write the annual recap of the last year on my personal blog, I don’t have that problem on this more tech-focused site. In terms of work and tech, 2020 was a demanding, but the outcome was very good.

I quit my job for an opportunity closer to my home – and quit again after three months. Covid-19 did not make it easy to settle in a new company. Now I’m back at my former employer, this time full remote. Being fully committed on working from home changed my perspective. That may or may not have been the smartest move – and it was stressful. But I’m happy now and very thankful that I was asked to come back.

2020 was also an eye-opening year. I may have found out what I really like and what I’m going to focus in the upcoming years. This is definitely due to the fact that I started working on this site. I went from a static page to Sapper and then to Eleventy. Playing around with Webmentions, the Web Share API or Cypress was a lot of fun. Changing parts of my tech stack and the process of building this particular site helped me to realize what kind of web development I’d like to do and where I’m good at.

After quite some time of pondering how the future of my career could look like, I have found a way back to enjoy frontend development more than the last years. You can read the following paragraph on the homepage of this site:

Although I have explored a lot of topics besides frontend development, learning about SEO, Microservices, Docker, CI and CD, caching strategies or server administration was never as much fun as building websites with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Today I focus on building responsible, fast and accessible websites. I believe in the concept of progressive enhancement as basis of my work and try to use as little technology as possible. I’m trying to improve my skills every day.

It has cost me some time to write those sentences until I was happy with them. Now they describe me quite well: I love exploring all those complex areas of web development. But in 2020 I have given up trying to master them. Some points will always be part of my responsibility, and it’s good to know about all those things and how they work. But I’ll leave the heavy juggling of Docker containers to someone who really likes it – just to name one of the things I’m not that keen on any more.

Frontend development itself is diverse enough. Chris Coyier wrote about that about two years ago. Thanks to all kinds of services and technologies, we can be „Full Stack“. But to be honest: I don’t want to be „full stack“. I want to build websites. I’m quite good at it and I want to get even better. There’s so much to learn, even after more than 20 years of web development. I want to write good HTML and CSS and sprinkle some JavaScript on it. I’ll let someone else code all those fancy SPAs. Maybe there’s another CMS that I could learn more about instead.

2021 is going to be rough for personal reasons. I hope I’ll find a way to spend some time on my websites. Because after all those years as a professional web developer, building something on the web for myself, fiddling around with things and not having deadlines, is still a great hobby. I have a lot of ideas for this site and my other blog, as well as some rough plans for other side projects. 2021, here I come!

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