Year in Review: Highlights from 2010

2010 has been, by far, the best, craziest year ever. I know it’s become nearly cliche to say such a thing, but as I look back to a year ago there is no way I would believe the next twelve months would be so amazing.

First, foremost, and with the most importance comes my getting married. Marriage is by far one of the best gifts and I’m so thankful to have found my wife. We have grown exponentially closer in 2010, something we both recognize and cherish on a regular basis.

Further, just a year ago, the idea of starting a Web design company was truly on the fringe of my ‘Someday’ list. A big reason for that was my goal of focusing on the upcoming wedding, and putting the majority of my time and effort into everything new that comes with it. Carrie and I talked about the company a lot though, and as the year progressed we both felt confident that it was something we were ready to commit to.

As a result of such things, I haven’t been able to be as strict with Monday By Noon’s posting schedule as I would have liked. There were times where I’d be kicking myself for not making the deadline, but I didn’t want to water down the content or post something for the sake of the schedule. The Monday By Noon gimmick worked supremely well for me to get in the habit of consistent writing, and I’m glad to still be writing here four years later. I hope that when a Monday goes by without a post, it doesn’t appear as though I’ve put the site by the wayside. Monday By Noon keeps me on my toes and in touch with so many people, there’s no way I’d want it to appear as though it’s taken a back seat in any way.

That said, I did manage to write a few things that I’m really proud of in 2010. As with years prior, I’d like to review them in mostly chronological order for those of you that are like me and Instapaper nearly everything under the sun and sometimes simply don’t have time to swing back and read it.

An Overview of and Introduction to Pods CMS for WordPress
I can’t tell you how thankful I am for writing the Pods Basics series. Pods is really a tool I feel strongly about and this series alone has been one of the most trafficked in 2010. I think it exposed Pods to lots of new WordPress developers and it also put me in touch with the Pods core developers. 2011 is going to be a big year for Pods, and you can expect to read a lot about it. The series was aimed to be that initial hand-held walkthrough that comes in so very useful when first learning a completely new system with a bit of a learning curve.
We’re Ready for CSS3, but are we Ready for CSS3?
CSS3 is still all the rage at the end of 2010. We’re all going nuts over it and rightfully so. It’s having a large beneficial effect on my front end process, specifically in decreasing the time it takes to produce good work. There is still a stance to be taken though. Much of the hubbub we continue to see is often WebKit-centric and although I prefer WebKit and understand the concept of progressive enhancement, it’s not much more than ‘nice’ for me at this point. We’ll definitely see continued CSS3 proliferation in 2011 and I’m super excited about it.
Please Excuse the Wet Paint, it’s Just About Dry
I had a blast redesigning Monday By Noon this year. It was so much fun I’m already in the kitchen coming up with a new flavor for 2011. 2010 was the first year I was proud of the design, and I hope to carry that torch from here on out. The old versions were completely fine, but nothing I totally stood behind as much as this one. It was received well, and while that’s hardly something to focus on, it was nice to hear positive feedback.
The Votes are in: Asides are on a Trial Run
I’ve toyed with the idea of asides-type articles since originally starting Monday By Noon. I get a lot of great information from little quips here and there, whether it be on Tumblr, Twitter, or reading other posts and articles. There are (many) times when 140 characters just doesn’t cut it so I bit the bullet and started an Asides section. I’m glad I did. Not only does it keep me in the habit of writing consistently, I think the people that choose to subscribe to them appreciate them.
Content Entry: Whose Job is it Anyway?
I often discuss the business end of Web design and development. I enjoy focusing on something still so technically ‘new’ and I like talking shop with everyone. There are many project aspects that are overlooked due to our inherent desire to focus on the fun parts: design & development. That’s (unfortunately) only a small part of it when you look at the big picture. Client interaction, detailed deliverables, and timelines are just a segment of what takes a large percentage of total project time. I think it’s important to master those project aspects with the equivalent effort we put into our craft.
WordPress Custom Post Types & Pods: What’s Next?
Again with the Pods? Again with the Pods. When WordPress announced Custom Post Types we all went nuts. Finally. Everyone was thrilled about it, but there was definitely some confusion as to how Pods would move forward. Do Custom Post Types supersede Pods since they’re in Core? Is Pods down and out? What about all of the Pods work that I’ve been doing? Pods and Custom Post Types definitely have their own uses, and the aim will be to have coexistence. Custom Post Types are an awesome to WordPress and Pods is going to make them awesomer.
Is it Now Acceptable to Require JavaScript?
I was thrilled with the response to this article. When I first began working with JavaScript I was quick to understand the possibility of taking things to far and forgetting about graceful degradation. As HTML5 and CSS3 continued to rocket forward it seemed like more and more was taking off through JavaScript and it’s always good to keep yourself in check. The comment thread in particular is a great supplement to the article, as always.
Improving Your Process: Work from the Inside Out
This is a classic discussion I like having with designers and developers. It’s really interesting to not only hear reasons for doing or not doing things in a certain way, it’s also great to have the discussion with someone who never thought of the alternative. It was great to see that this topic was brought up numerous times by other designers in 2010 and that it’s still something worth talking about.
We Haven’t Forgotten About Accessibility, Have We?
Continuing with the thought process behind Is it Now Acceptable to Require JavaScript?, I was in a stage of keeping my practices in check. Accessibility continues to be important as technology advances, both in front end and assistive. Keeping up with those advances and how to work with them should remain a focus of professionals.
Very Proud to Officially Present: Iron to Iron
On November 1, 2010 I started Iron to Iron with Kevin Richardson. It has been the most exhilarating career experience I’ve ever had. I’m writing this as we begin our eighth week full time, thankful for everything we’ve been given, all we’ve been shown, and for the fact that I’m able to even write these words. I plan on covering my experience in much more detail at a later date, but starting the company has been nothing short of amazing.

2010 has been exhilarating. I can’t wait for 2011.