What. A. Year.
This was definitely the year that my purposeful, relentless bias toward action started to really pay off.
Compared to previous years, I did a lot of traveling for work & conferences- around 40 days when added all up. 2019 is shaping up to be much the same in this regard; I’m honored to be preparing to speak at CSUN, Accessibility Camp Bay Area, and EmberConf 2019.
There were two major highlights of the year- I was invited to join Ember’s steering committee (responsible for governance of Ember.js) and moved on from JP Morgan Chase to work on accessibility in Ember at LinkedIn.
In the spirit of open source transparency, I’m sharing the things I shipped this year that are specifically related to the Ember community. These are things that I consider myself to have done on my own, was a significant participant in, or an initiator for. Most of these things were not solo efforts- it takes a village, after all!
I’ve linked to things that are public. Some things aren’t public yet, and a few things are not meant to be secret but are meant to be private. Any member of the community is encouraged to connect with me on Discord if you have any questions about any of these items.
- [community] Discord RFC
- [community] implementation facilitator, Discord move (from Slack)
- [community] started adopted-ember-addons org
- [community] member, EmberConf program committee
- [community] co-chair, EmberCamp Chicago
- [community] co-organizer, Ember Chicago Meetup
- [community] sponsor, ember-a11y Tomster and Zoey
- [community] co-sponsor, Chicago Tomster and Zoey
- [community] coordinator, ember-engines use cases
- [framework] PM, Octane edition of Ember
- [framework] coordinator, Ember.js release blog posts(6)
- [framework] facilitator, FW Core Team Q4 F2F
- [framework] author, draft RFC, accessible routing in Ember
- [learning team] organizer, DecEmber Event
- [learning team] ember-styleguide UI addon
- [learning team] accessible emberjs website initiative
- [learning team] author, team handbook
- [learning team] organized book of work for learning team
- [learning team] author, learning team leadership proposal
- [learning team] championed new members for learning team
- [steering committee] author, Internal Communications Strategy
- [steering committee] coordinator, book of work for steering committee (based on the commitments in the community roadmap)
- [steering committee] member, website re-design committee
- [steering committee] coordinator, Core Team(s) mailing list
- [steering committee] author, 2018 Core Team Member survey & results report
- [talk] “Ambitious For All”, EmberConf
- [talk] “Let’s Be Real”, Accessibility Camp Chicago
- [talk] “Comfortable with Uncertainty”, closing keynote, EmberFest
- [author] “Why Ember“, blog post (discussed on Ep. 124 of EmberWeekend)
- [author] “It’s Easier In Ember“, blog post
- [author] “Survey Said So“, blog post
I even managed to have my first proper PR to ember.js itself, thanks to the omniscient pairing powerhouse that is Robert Jackson.
Finally, I don’t think that GitHub stats should matter a ton, but they should matter some. There are a lot of ways to be a contributor- some of that can be tracked on GitHub. Here’s what my year looked like:
Not (yet) successful efforts
Of course, shipping these things meant there were things I did not manage to ship…yet. They may not have made it to the 2018 success list, but I am determined that they will be a part of 2019.
- [community] JS alliance project – I was not successful in getting a project off the ground that intends to list the places where all the JS frameworks and libraries agree (i.e., web components).
- [learning team] Adding the Ember Doctrine to the Ember.js website
- [learning team] Why Ember (C-Suite support materials; documentation addition for the Ember.js website)
- [community] writing/coordinating regular blog posts on the emberjs blog
- [community] I was not able to finish a few Ember addon logos I have been working on
- I was also not able to continue helping the ember-engines project move forward after leaving JPMC, although I am proud of the work I was able to do while there to remain engaged with the ember-engines project in general.
- I have not yet finished Achira (ah-chee-rah)- a moderation bot I started writing for the Ember Discord server.
- I meant to overhaul the ember-a11y demo website- I’ve learned a lot about a11y since first contributing to that, and want to turn it into a first-class resource.
What went well
There was a lot more that went right this year than didn’t. There are, of course, the constant growing pains of being a web developer, but I found that this year they were less angst-ridden than in previous years. Maybe it’s because I hit a milestone birthday? Maybe because practicing awareness is paying off? Maybe because I finally feel like I belong? Maybe a combination of factors. Probably that. So long, imposter syndrome.
I also had peer group support– and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. It has been fantastic. Finding them (or rather, them finding me) was satisfying on a level I didn’t know existed. To have friends that are there for you the same way you are there for them- that’s pretty new to me. I’ve always been the older sister type- I care for the youngins and love my mishmash of a brood but in the end, it’s not a very reciprocal relationship. So to experience something different was really spectacular in itself.
In being championed, I was also able to champion others. At JPMC, I was directly responsible for adding two women to my team. I was also able to get the budget increased to pay for more work to be done on ember-engines, and some critical questions were answered because of that. I helped two Ember women find sponsorship to attend EmberConf 2018. As part of the learning core team, I was able to nominate/participate in three new learning team members being added to the team. I was able to participate in choosing speakers for both EmberConf and EmberCamp Chicago. It’s very personal to me, to have other people recognize and promote my abilities- and it is with a great deal of relief and joy that I can now also do it (and will continue to do it) for others.
I took my first significant amount of time off work (and away from a computer) since leaving the active duty military service in 2005. I could not have done this without the encouragement that I’ve received at LinkedIn. Sometimes it was just getting busy and forgetting. I also happen to do what I love for a living, and for a while vacations just felt like something that was getting in the way of things I wanted to keep doing. There has also been a bit of fear in my life- if I go away for a while, will they realize they don’t need me anymore? Will (project name here) fall apart? Thanks to the leadership in my life (both at LinkedIn and in Ember), I was finally ready and willing to do it. I could get used to this. I think.
What could improve
What didn’t go well? Where would I like to improve? It’s important that we ask ourselves these questions, especially when we are determined to continue forward momentum.
In 2019, there are a few specific areas where I will continue to focus on leveling up.
Level up: (even more) communication
The older I get, the more I see old solutions coming back around and being presented as new solutions by younger developers who simply don’t know any better. It’s very easy to be very good at your job as a web developer without knowing the history of…anything. As someone who knows the history, though, it’s become frustrating to more regularly encounter. I think next year starts the phase of my life where I am sharing my knowledge with others.
I’d like to further develop the energy and skills to effortlessly communicate with the people who need the support and knowledge. I intend to share as much as I know with as many people as I know- and I know I will learn from them in return. I plan to accomplish this by writing more blog posts, hosting my own podcast (maybe), and aiming to present at least 4 talks in 2019.
Level up: JS engineering (the missing bits)
I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to deepen my JS knowledge- and it seems a natural progression, given my existing deep knowledge base of other essential specifications (like HTML, CSS, & WAI-ARIA), web design, user experience design, information architecture, and project management.
I’d like to level up in having more of the JS specification committed to memory, become better at writing tests (turning theory into practice), and deepen my understanding of how Ember internals work.
I want to bring more value to the Ember community and I am surrounded by excellent engineers who are willing to share what they know. I plan to accomplish this goal by taking full advantage of this opportunity!
Level up: the feedback loop
A strong retrospective process includes feedback from others. So I’m publicly renewing my commitment to that part of the process. This year, I was able to receive feedback of all types, and I want to continue that.
I believe 2019 will be a really fantastic year for accessibility in Ember specifically, and I can’t wait to be right in the thick of it.
Cheers to an amazing 2018 (professionally at least- the world at large is still utter shyt)- let’s hope for an equally amazing 2019!