Yeah, yeah, we're all supposed to be looking forward right now, but hey – 2017 wasn't a total wash. We created some neat stuff and saw some interesting shifts within the community. While everyone is eagerly guessing at what's next, I'd like to take a moment to look back on some things from 2017 that we shouldn't be too quick to say goodbye to.
1. Coding for Accessibility
This year saw a huge shift in the amount we're talking about accessibility and inclusive web standards as a community. More and more, it's becoming common knowledge that coding accessibly isn't an "above and beyond" thing, so much as a "basic requirement of your job" thing. That awareness and thoughtfulness is absolutely crucial because everyone, at some point in their lives, will benefit from a more accessible web.
2. CSS Grid
So, you probably saw this one coming. CSS Grid has been almost a real thing for years now – I remember seeing Rachel Andrew give an enthusiastic talk on it at An Event Apart about 3 years ago, when it was just something we should be excited about for the future. But now it's here! And it's supported in all major browsers! And it's awesome! What more could you want?
3. Rethinking Frameworks
Hand-in-hand with the advanced and newly-available layout abilities of CSS Grid, there was a lot of talk this year about stepping away from frameworks. There was some great discussions in the dev community about looking critically at the code we're including in our builds: how is it impacting load time and project weight, and is everything we're including really necessary? More often than not, well...it's not. Frameworks can be useful in lots of situations, but it's important for devs to judge each project on its own and make that call situationally – rather than letting a framework become the default out of habit or laziness.
4. Diversity in Tech
It goes without saying that diversity and inclusion was a hot topic this year in all fields. But, thanks to a certain "manifesto," diversity specifically in tech had its moment in the public eye this year as well. While that certainly wasn't the ideal way for this topic to gain attention, it is nonetheless an incredibly important thing to be discussing openly – and we need to make sure that discussion is carried into 2018 as well. The more diverse perspectives you can include on the build of any project, the better it will be.
5. Impostor Syndrome
And of course, how could I write up a list like this without circling back to my own hill to die on in 2017 (and probably forever) – impostor syndrome. I've been thrilled to see discussions opening up in a variety of places on this topic, but it's especially wonderful here on dev.to and in the #DevDiscuss tag on Twitter. We all are continually learning, and we're all somewhere in the middle of a spectrum that goes all the way from total novice to total expert...and that's okay. And yes, we all Google things while we're coding, every single day (and that's okay too).
Links worth checking out:
Read other people's experiences with impostor syndrome here on Dev.to
All of us Google stuff – here's how to do it better
Is There Any Value in People Who Cannot Write JS?
(spoiler alert: yes)
2017 was a busy year...so, what did I miss? Any other things you noticed reach 'trend' status within the dev community in 2017? Any ongoing things you'd like to see carry over into 2018? Leave a comment and tell me what should have been on the list!