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Happy new year!

We made it โ€“ it's 2020! I hope you all had a great start in 2020! For me, I had a fabulous NYE party and am now ready to share my favorite content of December 2019 with you. Enjoy!

The Tail End

"The Tail End", written by Tim Urban, shows a different angle on how we should look at the time we spend in our lives.

The article visualizes different questions like "How many months are left in your life?" or "How many times will you spent Christmas with your parents?".

Seeing life visualized like that is scary but also motivated me to have the best time possible!

Build your own React

Rodrigo Pombo explained how to build your own React in an interactive article. It includes code snippets that expand with every paragraph you read. Very cool stuff! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Lightning talk โ€“ย "Regular expressions my secret love"

I gave a quick lightning talk at dotJS. It covers regular expression features like non-capturing groups but also goes into new language additions like named capturing groups and Unicode Property Escapes. Have fun!

This month I learned

Optional chaining helps to avoid "undefined is not a function" exceptions

The JavaScript additions defined in ES2020 include the optional chaining proposal. The new ?. syntax allows developers to access object properties that may or may not be available.

I discovered a tiny detail about the proposal that I didn't notice before. You can also optionally execute functions using ?.(). ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

box-decoration-break helps to define how elements should be rendered across lines

Did you ever spent a lot of time styling links, and then a line break ruined the styling? I learned that you could define what should happen when a link is spread across several lines.

text-justify defines where space is added in justified text

text-align: justify; is a CSS property that I don't use very often, because it may influence readability. In case you use it frequently, I learned that you could control the algorithm defining the spacing in CSS.

This month's DevSheets

In December, I started posting #devsheets on Twitter. A DevSheet is a quickly created sheet explaining a single detail in web development.

I enjoy creating these sheets, and I didn't even notice that I posted seven of them in December (๐Ÿ˜ฒ):

The talk of the month

The idea of utility-first CSS is not new. I have to admit that I was always skeptical about the idea of adding 20+ classes to an HTML element to style it.

Sarah Dayan spoke at this year's dotCSS. Her talk "In Defense of Utility-First CSS" includes valid points for going utility-first CSS. If you're (like me and) struggling with CSS architecture โ€“ this talk is for you.

A quote to think about

Now that we're in 2020, you may look back at what you achieved in 2019 career-wise. What actions did you take? What was your focus? Was it a good year, and did you make the progress you wanted?

Tanya Reilly gave a fascinating talk about leadership and promotion. This talk included this month's favorite quote:

A large percentage of your work should be the thing you're evaluated on. If you're doing very little of your core job, you're hurting your career.

For 2020 โ€“ I hope I'll make sure to focus on the right things. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

A song that makes you stop coding

I visited a theater play between the years, and they played "Stop crying your heart out" by Oasis. What shall I say โ€“ my old Britpop heart made a massive jump.

And that's it for the content of December 2019, friends! ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐Ÿ‘‹

Have a great start into the new year, and if you have any feedback about this newsletter, please let me know. :)

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About Stefan Judis

Frontend nerd with over ten years of experience, freelance dev, "Today I Learned" blogger, conference speaker, and Open Source maintainer.

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