2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

Posted Jan 1, 2022 by Ryan Trimble

  • post
  • general
  • development

Year in Review!

As it is the beginning of the new year, I figured what better thing to talk about than a review of my 2021. I think it's important to think about the year and try to derive some meaning from it: lessons learned, new experiences, noteworthy memories and whatever else.

First of all though...

New Website!

This is the first post on my new website! Congrats me! I did it! I redesigned my website! This is something that I've been wanting to do for a while and have started and stopped several times.

I promised myself going into the new year that I would finally actually do it, and here we are!

There are still several things that I will need to fix up post-launch, but I'm just glad that I actually did it!

COVID-19!

As you may have heard, there has been an ongoing global pandemic since the beginning of 2020 which has many of us doing things like working from home, not going outside as much, not going on vacations and also not putting ourselves into situations where there large gatherings. Ok, so maybe not a lot of people are doing that anymore, but my wife and I are still trying to stay as safe as possible.

Covid Vaccine

In July 2021, we received our COVID-19 vaccines and should be eligible for the booster shot in January. We are still wearing masks wherever we go and still keep hand-sanitizer at arms-reach.

Obviously I don't want to get my friends and family sick and I definitely don't want to be sick myself, but one of my main fears about this thing is losing my sense of taste - food is too good! Parosmia sounds like torture!

My Job!

In fall of 2020, I was hired by Ritter Insurance Marketing as a Jr. UX/UI Developer. I worked as a Web Developer in the past, but this was the first time experiencing what it's like working on a team. I'm a big fan of learning, so being able to learn from others around me has been amazing! Also Ritter seems to be one of only a few companies in my area that utilizes the Vue JavaScript framework, which is my framework of choice.

My first few months were kind of slow, but this year I was able to really dig into the development process as we worked on a few big projects adding features to our core applications.

RIMDev Logo

When I was hired, the company was working remotely full-time due to the pandemic, and I didn't really get a chance to meet any of my co-workers aside from talking on Microsoft Teams. As the COVID-19 vaccinations were becoming more available, Ritter was able to switch to a hybrid work schedule, which had us coming into the office a few days a week. I enjoyed getting to finally meet folks face-to-face, however going into the office is overwhelming for an introverted person like myself. As personal preference, working from home really helped reduce stress and anxiety caused by things like: traffic, people, COVID-19, and just lots of stuff in general really.

Oh yeah! I received a promotion at my one-year review! I wasn't expecting it when it happened, but I absolutely appreciated it - it felt validating in a way, like maybe I actually do know what I'm doing (if that makes sense!).

Dev Stuff!

As previously mentioned: I really enjoy learning things. I took advantage of the whole staying-in situation and worked on improving my dev skills.

I finally took some time to learn Vue 3, which is wonderful! I was a little nervous to learn it at first as I had flashbacks of when I learned AngularJS just as the completely different Angular 2 was about to be released. Luckily though, Vue 3 isn't quite as drastic of a change and I was able to pick up on the new concepts such as the Composition API a little easier.

I spent a decent amount of time experimenting with the Greensock Animation Platform (GSAP), which may be my favorite JavaScript library. I really like being able to create web animations, both for fun (like the animations you'll find thoughout this site) and developing animations around user interactions to provide the best possible experience.

If interested, please feel free to check out my Codepen, which is where I post a majority of my experiments.

GreenSock Animation Platform

In September 2021, I participated in Cassie Evans' SVG Animation Workshop. If you are at all interested in learning how SVG works or how best to use it for animations, I suggest checking this out whenever Cassie does this again! Cassie starts at the basics of SVG and explains all it's super powers, then provides a great introduction into animation using CSS and GSAP. Plus Brody (Cassie's dog) occasionally treats the class to a song - highly recommend!

I also joined Bruno Simon's ThreeJS Journey course where Bruno teaches how to use the ThreeJS library. ThreeJS is a JavaScript library that helps bring 3D objects to the web browser. I'm still working through the course, but I was able to make this cool Haunted House by following Bruno's lessons!

I plan to post a lot of dev-related things on this blog, so keep an eye out in 2022 for more posts!

New Friends!

I think the best thing I did this year was join the Frontend Horse community on Discord.

Frontend Horse is a community created by Alex Trost, who also runs the related Twitch.tv channel where he invites guests on weekly to discuss all sorts of topics related to Front End Development. I originally found out about his channel when Cassie Evans was a guest on his show. Soon after that, I heard about the Discord and joined.

Frontend Horse

I've tried using Discord in the past, joining a few public servers, however they are mostly akin to shouting into the void. Frontend Horse is different though! The folks on there provide a warm welcome to all newcomers and a great atmosphere to learn. So many wonderful, talented, and kind folks on there! We get to hangout in voice chat, have the occasional game nights, and even held a Secret Santa event!

I took part in helping organize the Frontend Horse Snowtacular, a charity livestream on Twitch where Alex brought on 12 guests from the Frontend community with the goal of raising $10,000 for TeamSeas. The stream lasted roughly 5 hours and we successfully reached our goal!

Looking Forward!

With the launch of this new website, in 2022 I'm setting a goal for myself to write a blog post once-per-month. I feel like that should be do-able and will hopefully help keep me motivated to creating things. There are still a lot of things I want to learn and improve upon and would love to discuss them here. I feel lucky to be in a position now where that is something that is actually achievable.

Ultimately, building more in general is my main goal. I want to do more freelance work, get all sorts of creative on Codepen, and much more!