Retrospective: 2018 | Prospective: 2019

2018

Before you start moving earth and building a foundation, first you have to mark where the foundation will exist.

The past year didn’t pan out quite how I imagined, but it was an amazing learning experience.

I spent more time mentoring within the User Experience and Development space, even helping a few folks make connections, prepare for interviews and get their first “industry” job!

This was something that I hoped to have early in my career, and I’ve been struggling to find for myself. I feel like my focus has been scattered between Design, Development and Strategy which I have realized is a challenge in my current career endeavors.

I feel like I have marked off the area where I want to keep my focus: Creating amazing experiences through technology, and to help guide others to get to that point.

How am I going to do that?

2019

Now that you’ve marked out your plan, it’s time to dig deep and ensure that the foundation will be solid for what you’ll build in the future.

Javascript

I want to solidify my understanding of Javascript. I’m pretty solid at building and designing websites, but my knowledge of JS is just skimming the surface. I can write a lot of stuff from scratch, but I have a hard time articulating concepts to other developers who have a deeper computer science background.

For this reason I’m going to start working through some of the JS reading materials that I’ve had on my radar for awhile, starting with Eloquent Javascript.

In the spirit of sharing I’ll be posting all of the code that I write for the examples on my Github profile.

This is just the start, once I finish this up I have some ideas of creating a working session group where folks can stop by and we can jam through self subscribed homework with each other.

Projects

In 2018 I spent some time hacking on some proof of concept projects that ended up in the dirt. It was amazing to get feedback and kill them early, and I learned more about my learning / working style, and I want to keep this ball rolling into 2019.

The first project to kick off this year will be The Annex Teen clinic’s Smart About Sex portal. I’m still in the planning stages, but I’m thinking that this will be leveraging NextJS + GraphQL + WordPress and following some of the practices outlined in Wes Bos’s Advanced React course.

I’m hoping to have a slimmed down marketing version of this project launched early February so that The Annex can get it in front of some of their partners to get more interest drummed up, and I’ll be able to use as a case study for a potential new career hunt.

Other projects lined up:

  • Reskin this site so that it’s a little bit more “designed”, right now it has a really great “Elegance in simplicity” look, but it is definitely a first pass at what a headless cms could be, and I want to push it a lot further.
  • A User Experience resource portal that I’m might build with some of the folks from the User Experience Professional Association of Minnesota mentorship group.

This should get me through the first couple months of the year. One step at a time =)

Conclusion

Let’s rock the new year folks.

About the Author

Headshot of Mathias Rechtzigel with some sweet lazers in the background. Like the type you would find in a cheesy Sears photoshoot. Yeah those ones.

Mathias Rechtzigel is a web creator, his skills range from development, design, user experience and sometimes content creation.

He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner (Ellen), dog (Bard), and two cats ( Pippi & Misti ).

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