James Bateson Personal Site: Post

Looking back at 2019

This may be a bit late, but I thought I would do a quick review of how things went for me in terms of work in 2019, and look forward to what I hope to achieve in 2020. This won't be useful to anybody but me, but I'm hoping it'll help me draw on some positives from 2019, and be something I can reference during 2020.

In all honesty 2019 was probably the toughest year of my life, due to things outside of work which I won't go into here, however, there are some good things I've been working on.

Personal Site permalink

I published this site earlier this year! I've been meaning to create myself a presence online for some time now, so I'm really pleased to have this setup.

I'll be the first to admit that it doesn't look great and I still have a lot of work to do on it, but having something live is great! In 2020 I plan to chip away at molding it to something I'm happier with. I also plan to post a few more articles to it, and although scary, try and share these in some way!

FatKit 2 permalink

FatKit is the framework we use internally at Fat Media. Towards the end of 2019 I made a good start in laying some groundwork for the second version of this.

We plan to update the front-end technologies we are using, for example ditching grunt in favor of npm scripts, and make more use of NodeJs. We'll be looking at making more use of CSS Grid, HSL and CSS variables. I'm excited to do a lot more work on this in 2020!

Front-End Challenges Club permalink

Towards the end of 2019 I signed up to Front-End Challenges Club. This is a project created by the awesome Andy Bell. It involves have a go at building something set in regular challenges. Andy then posts his best practice solution for you to learn and improve from.

A goal of mine for a while has been to learn more about semantic HTML and accessibility, and the three challenges I did in 2019 were great fun and I learned a ton from! So I'm hugely excited about taking part in this project in 2020.

Here are my three challenge attempts from 2019

Codepen Experiments permalink

During 2019 I made much more use of my Codepen account. I love seeing little UI/UX features/print layouts/awesome designs on Twitter and Dribble etc and then trying to recreate them with code. Codepen is the perfect space to this, it's like a quick start project, and makes sharing and collaboration really easy.

In 2020 expect to see many more pens from me, hopefully, some worth sharing and usable on production sites.

Check out my Codepen profile

Work charity project permalink

I can't say too much on this at the moment (mainly because I'm still ironing out a lot of specifics) but this is a project I set in motion towards the end of 2019.

In 2019 becoming more active helped me massively with dealing with some pretty dark times, and I'd like to encourage others to get more active whilst also raising money for a great cause. Watch out for more updates on this project in 2020, hopefully, some big things to come.

Upskill permalink

In 2019 I made an effort to start getting better at writing and understanding javascript. This has always been a weak point for me and also led to a lot of imposter syndrome, which is not nice.

I've been working my way through numerous courses, most recently A beginner one from Wes Bos. This has been great in learning more about the basics of JS and how it all fits together.

In 2020 I really want to crack Javascript, so plan to continue learning and experimenting with it. Hopefully doing more Codepen experiments, FECC challenges and taking on plenty of Javascript tasks for FatKit 2 will help with this.

todo app permalink

One thing I've always struggled with, is coming up with ideas, then never actually seeing them through. I always lose track of things, then they get pushed off my radar by other things.

I started learning some Electron by building a custom todo app that I could tailor to how I best work. I got this working, however, would like to do take it further in 2020, and make it into something I use day-to-day and keep on top of.

In Summary permalink

Despite a lot of downs in 2019, looking back at the above makes me feel excited and positive about what I can achieve in 2020. As mentioned I'll be posting more regularly here with updates on these projects, so keep an eye out.

I hope you all have some exciting stuff planned for 2020 as well and Happy New year. Jim