I have never written a year in review article before. I didn’t have the motivation to do so up till now, but for 2020, I thought that I should document everything that happened on a professional and personal level.
Starting a business
If you do not know me well, you might think I am a developer only person. I started my career as a graphic designer, and then gradually moved to web design, and finally front-end development. The good news is that I equally enjoy design and development.
Uxable is a digital product design company my wife and I founded. The name “Uxable” comes from “UX” and “able”. We specialize in UX design, user research, front-end development, and more.
We announced the business officially on Mar 1, 2020. Three days later, covid-19 hit my country and we stayed home for over three months because of the lockdown. We were excited to start working from our office, not from home. Thankfully, we managed to work from home very well.
I published a book about CSS
When I started learning CSS in 2014, I really liked it so much that I wanted to write a book about it. I didn’t know at the time what I should write about.
Writing a book was one of my goals for 2020. In April, I suggested to my wife the idea of writing a short handbook about debugging CSS. I made a quick outline, and it started from there. I told her it was going to be a very short book (50 pages, max), that was funny, as I ended up with a 300-page book.
On Apr 21, 2020, I shared a tweet and the initial feedback was great. I started writing the same day and kept working at it non-stop for over two months. I worked for 2-3 hours every day. My work includes writing, research, and designing figures. I spent more time designing figures than I spent actually writing.
The book was published on Nov 10, 2020, and you can visit its website to know more.
If I have to name 2020, I would name it “The year of writing”. Each month I wrote at least two articles about CSS. I am happy to find the time to write each week. To be honest, writing is a habit that I can’t give up, which is good.
This year helped me learn a bit more about myself. I wasn’t aware that I would enjoy teaching about CSS or helping others. Here are some reasons for what I wrote in 2020:
- to document my learnings,
- to brain dump my knowledge into an article/guide so I can get back to it easily,
- to support and help others understand CSS better,
- to prove that you can write about already explained topics and make them interesting,
- to improve my writing skills in English
Here are the most viewed articles on my blog:
- 63,529 reads: Grid for layout, Flexbox for components
- 42,701 reads: CSS Findings From The New Facebook Design
- 31,344 reads: Learn CSS Positioning
- 30,804 reads: Min and Max Width/Height in CSS
- 26,159 reads: The State Of Pixel Perfection
Mr. John Allsopp invited me to speak at Web Directions conference. It was my first online talk and it was a great experience as I learned a lot. I talked about debugging CSS.
In the photo, Mr. John Allsopp (right), and myself (left).
I look forward to traveling and speaking in person about CSS in 2021. It has always been one of my dreams.
Achieving a work-life balance is a very important priority for me. I appreciate the time I spend with my loved ones. I don’t do client work after 5 pm and at the weekend. Instead, I use that time to chat and do fun things with my family.
I’m looking forward to seeing my first child born in Jan 2021. I know I’ll have my hands full and my life will undoubtedly change once the baby girl arrives. Please send a warm welcome to my future daughter and her wonderful mother.
As a result of the lockdown, I found I had a taste for baking desserts. The first thing I did was make a batch of cinnamon rolls and babka.
From there, I made dessert after dessert to the point that my Instagram account appeared to be only a food account. See the screenshots below:
As a result, we (My wife and I) have created a brand-new Instagram account named (@aklatnah) which means “Our dishes” in Arabic. You can check it out here.
2020 in numbers
- Wrote over 40 articles.
- My blog got over 800,000 page views. That’s an increase of 713.89% as it got 98,418 page views last year.
- My blog received visits from every country in the world.
- Finished writing my book in 2.5 months. The rest of the time was for reviews, proofreading, and editing.
- My Twitter audience grew from 2600 to 6640 followers. That’s 2.5x growth.
- I got over 70 coffee cups as support from kind people on buymeacoffee.com website.
- My headers-css project got over 235 stars on Github. That’s the highest number I have, which is very encouraging.
My project “RTL Styling 101” is linked in the official Bootstrap RTL docs, and is being used as a resource for lots of companies around the world (I can’t mention them for privacy reasons).
CSS Tricks Recognition
Mr. Chris Coyier said the following about me:
He really got the #1 gold star ⭐️ for CSS blogging this year. Every post of his was an extremely well done deep dive into some important area of CSS.
It an honor to hear that from a well-known person in the web community. I learned a lot from Chris and CSS Tricks. So reading this is very, very thrilling.
I look forward to 2021
I’m not a resolutions person, but I like to set a few professional and personal goals each year.
- Grow my business.
- Write even more detailed articles and guides.
- Speak more at conferences.
- Experiment with video content.
- Eat less sugar (AKA: stop making desserts).
- Play sport more often.
- Keep a good balance between work and life.
- Spend enough time with my daughter (due Jan 2021).
That’s all. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in any way, your support is very much appreciated. I’m glad that 2020 is almost over, and I look forward to 2021.