2018 in Review

Three images: a small cabin near a creek, a moody horizon on the Puget Sound, and the sun nearly set across the bay

Some local adventures near water this year: walking the Denny Creek trail and dreaming of a cabin in the woods by a stream; drifting near Deception Pass to spot whales; a truly excellent weekend with friends at Birch Bay.

This blog hasn’t been updated since March, which coincides perfectly with a period of tremendous, though quiet, growth for me. I was hired onto the Microsoft Edge team in 2015 as a designer/developer, and over the past couple years have been picking up other activities on the web platform team. I was interested in having more direct impact on the web platform, and so in 2018, I started a new role as a feature program manager for Microsoft Edge. PMing is about identifying the next impactful work for a particular feature space (for me, accessibility); engaging in web standards discussions; helping facilitate new work internally; and partnering with other teams and the community so that the web platform meets their needs (reeeally oversimplifying here for brevity).

It is fascinating to be surrounded by people who are familiar and dear to you, but essentially embark on a new career. PMing has meant further calling and building upon existing skills; picking up new ones; getting familiar with processes; and rapidly gaining deeper domain knowledge. Add to this some big changes for the web platform, and you have a very interesting year.

In all things, I can’t help but focus on everything I could be doing better. I could be faster, more deeply technical, more connected, more vocal, more insightful. No matter how much we can reasonably accomplish in a period of time, I always wish it were more. But as I reflect on day zero vs. now, I’m thinking maybe there is in fact a lot to be proud of.

Highlights

Again, a quiet year for tangible and specific highlights to mention here, but here’s a few:

  • I ran my first (half-day) workshop on CSS Grid at beyond tellerrand in Munich, and gave a lunch-track talk on grid layout.
  • My first direct spec contribution was published in the CSS alignment spec!
  • I joined the ARIA Working Group at the W3C, and have really enjoyed getting to know and work with the folks in the group. In general, I’ve met a lot of really awesome people this year working in accessibility.
  • One of my sisters moved out to Seattle (near me) in the spring, and the other is expecting a baby. In 2019, I’m going to be a first-time aunt!
  • Of my bucket list items, I: ate dumplings at Din Tai Fung, went whale watching, and took an archery lesson. The lesson was like…five minutes long, as there’s not much to the basics. Archery is fun.

Family

I don’t tend to talk about heavier life moments in my year-in-review, but I did lose one of my grandmothers this year; she passed away while I was on a business trip, and that was tough. My family held her memorial closer to her birthday (she’s a 4th of July baby), and it was really special to gather with her friends and hear so many people say such wonderful things about her. It didn’t occur to me until someone mentioned it, but I have never heard her speak an ill or impatient or judgemental word against anyone. Ever. That’s kindness goals. Love you, Mom Mom.

Books

I accidentally read 72 books out of a goal of 52. Incidentally, 72 is my goal for 2019, so probably a year from now I’ll be writing “I read 90 books!”. This is the silver lining of a long commute.

Here are a few I particularly enjoyed, in alphabetical order:

I swear I read non-fiction and enjoyed some of it, but realistically it was a pretty fiction-heavy year.

2019 theme

My theme for 2019 is curiosity. In every area of life, I’d like to pursue goals from a spirit of learning instead of a pressure to achieve. I’d like to ask more questions and generate more options. Instead of feeling discouraged by setbacks, I’d like to be curious about what other solutions I might find.

Here’s to the new year!

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