Farewell, 2021

Caution! This article was published over a year ago, and hasn't been updated since. Situation, software and support of the topic below could have changed in the meantime.

No big or structured retrospective post for me this year, I'm afraid. Not because only bad stuff happened – it is suffice to say, it was an overall mixed bag. There was a fare share of good things, but first and foremost I'm feeling very tired and not in a overly retrospective mood. Thus, in a following, you'll find a more or less stream-of-conciousness list of what I considered a highlight in 2021:

  • Around spring time, I was finally able to release my ebook "Accessible Vue" – and then even failed to mention it in this very blog. Nevertheless, I'm more or less proud of it. Structuring, writing and editing it was an exhausting but overall great experience. While I initially offered it as a paid product, keeping it this way was never my intention. "JS framework land" really needs accessibility awareness and how-to's. So yesterday I was finally able to complete Accessible Vue's "lifecycle" by offering it free of charge (you can still pay what you want, mind you) and, much more importantly, offer an HTML version. You can find the whole book at accessible-vue.com/read. The text is now available under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0. Enjoy reading!
  • The publication of Accessible Vue also led to my first-ever conference talk, at Knowability's Access U 2021. While this was a very interesting and enriching experience and while I enjoy teaching, my anxiety and "stage fright" levels around it weren't pretty – and I'm fairly sure the participants of my workshop noticed, big time.
  • I think I wrote in the past year wrap-up posts something about once being able to write for Smashing Magazine. Well, 2021 was the year it happened! And it happened also in the AccessibleVueniverse, so to speak: "Three Insights I Gained While Researching Vue.js Accessibility". Thank you, Vitaly, for not only giving me the chance to write for your amazing smashing publication, but also for actively inviting me to!
  • If I look back on my freelance business I notice that I barely touched any code, but did instead a whole lot of training and consulting jobs with great customers. I dove way deeper in the conformance and regulation side of accessibility than in the years before (especially when it comes to German legislation), and would say that at least three thirds of everything I did was speaking, teaching or writing audits or documentation instead of code. A very exciting and pleasant development. And for 2022, some very interesting clients and developments are already in the pipeline.
  • In last year's "My 2020" retrospective, I highlighted the profound impact the book "How to take smart notes" from Sönke Ahrens had on me, my way of note taking. And for 2021 this impact only got bigger and bigger, given that I considered myself more of a consultant than a developer this year. And as a knowledge worker of this kind, a working note-taking system is crucial. I guess I found just that in both the Zettelkasten "mindset" and in the (free and multi-platform) software Obsidian. I have the strong feeling to write more about that in the near future, so please like and subscribe.

This ends my un-edited ramblings about 2021. Y'all, have a good and healthy 2022, and in the mean time, please check out Hidde de Vries' "2021 in review", Andy Bell's "Wrapping up 2021" and Christoph Rumpel's "My Coding Year 2021".