alexpate

London Based UI/UX Engineer currently building design systems at Kalo

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Things I want to learn/improve in 2019

By Alex Pate on January 03, 2019

I recently read this great post from Dan Abramov about being open about gaps in your own knowledge. As front-end developers (and just people who work on the web in general), the spectrum of knowledge we are expected to know about gets wider and wider every year. Recognising and being aware of the areas where you feel unsure about is the first step towards being able to improve your knowledge on said topics.

The following is a list of a few high level topics that I would like to learn more about in 2019.

Accessibility

It’s always a hot topic in the industry, but it’s never something that I’ve properly taken time to learn about. My experiences with making web applications “accessible” in the past have tended to revolve around colour and semantics.

CSS Grid

I know enough to get a basic layout out, but flexbox is still my go to. Things I’m unsure about in particular:

  • When to use it vs flexbox - this is one vs two dimensions right?
  • What do I do when I want a nested grid?
  • Do I need to use those named areas? They look messy as fuck.

Vanilla JS

A few years back, I was a designer / web developer who mainly worked with HTML and CSS. In the past couple of years, I’ve moved more towards JS being my primary language, however most of my development with modern JS has been through React.

Jumping from knowing how to manipulate the DOM in jQuery, in to a full blown React SPA, I feel like there are big gaps in my knowledge about vanilla JavaScript that I would like to fill in.

Progressive Web Apps

They're a process for building native feeling apps built with web technologies? Other than that, my knowledge is thin.

Writing

Perhaps part of the reason why I’m writing this now, writing (and communication in general) is a fundamental part of being a developer/designer. I would like to improve my narrative writing (blog/articles), as well as technical writing (specs/readme’s).


There are a load more things off the top of my head I could add to this list, but these five topics feel wide reaching enough to last me for at-least the next 12 months.