2019 in Review

Seagulls swooping in the air above a grey beach on a delightfully dreary day

So long, 2019! Photo of La Push beach, WA in September.

It’s the end of the year and time for another annual review!

2019 has been an interesting one professionally, as the Microsoft Edge team has been working on top of Chromium to build the vNext version of the browser. It is incredibly refreshing to be able to ship preview versions of the browser quickly (at long last!), but it also means changing our processes and building up expertise in a new codebase.

As for me, I’ve been contributing as a Program Manager to accessibility-related projects like implementing UI Automation in open source, support for styled captions and Windows High Contrast, standardization of styling for said HC mode, and ideas for making virtualized content more accessible. More recently, I’ve started working on projects to protect privacy and build user trust while browsing the web. Trust is a challenging space, and I’m looking forward to honing my PM craft by tackling these industry-wide challenges.

Highlights

  • My baby niece was born! She is the first kiddo of this generation in my family and potentially the happiest baby I’ve seen; accordingly we all are completely smitten with her.
  • Gave my first international talk at the W3C Developer Meetup, “Finessing forced-colors: tailoring the High Contrast experience”.
  • At ViewSource, gave a longer version of my aforementioned talk, which covers prefers-color-scheme and touches briefly on the future prefers-contrast as well. “The Tailored Web: Effectively Honoring Visual Preferences” is my favorite of the two versions, as it tells a little bit more of the fuller story with regards to color and contrast preferences. Note: system color keyword Text has since been renamed to CanvasText, to disambiguate from other CSS properties’ values.
  • Also at ViewSource, spoke on my first panel, which to me is 1000x more terrifying than a talk I can prepare ahead of time.
  • Started writing Weeknotes to chronicle what I’m working on, thinking about, and reading.

Books

I baaaaarely made my reading goal of 72 books by the skin of my teeth (thank you, internet friends and short comics). Here are a few books I particularly enjoyed, in alphabetical order:

For 2020, I won’t have a goal for total number of books read. Instead, I want to read 4 books that I owned at the beginning of the year for every new book I borrow/buy/am gifted.

Next personal goals

I’m not making annual goals this year either, but I am setting seasonal ones. The goals I’m currently working through for December 2019–February 2020 are:

  • Health: consistency in exercise, meditation, and going to bed on time (the last one is the hardest for me).
  • Personal: learn some Hindi for my upcoming trip to India in February! The Devanāgarī alphabet is tricky; I think it’ll take a bit to train my ear for sounds that seem very similar to me as a native English speaker.
  • Side Project: I was aiming to get Draft Jam launched this season, but I’m having second thoughts about the project (I’ll go into this more in this week’s Weeknotes). I have some candidates for a replacement goal, but I wonder if it might be advantageous to focus instead on showing up consistently to experiment with new things.

Happy New Year!

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