Well shit, the COVID pandemic didn't end with the vaccines. It took a mighty effort to distribute them, but it wasn't enough, the virus mutated and we had a spike in the summer. Now somehow it's December again, there's Omicron everywhere, I've had three shots, Agnieszka's had one, and the boys are booked in for Wednesday, which they're probably not going to manage because they're sick (a nasty cold, we think, not covid). Somehow, two years into this, it's still really hard to find at-home quick tests, but we've used half a dozen making sure this isn't it.
So yeah, not ideal.
We had some wins though! We took a trip to Legoland again, and drove to Disneyland for the first time. We got in a trip to Hawaii for a break. Sadly, Agnieszka's best friend moved away, but we got to visit them and their pool (with a slide!) for a weekend.
The boys went back to school (masked)! Max started kindergarten. He loves to read and draw and write! He's making his own friends. Jack is a fourth grader and OMG I don't have to listen to his teacher on Zoom any more. You have no idea how bad that was. For more than a year!
We hoped that we'd be able to visit London, and that grannies would be able to visit us. Alas, these plans fell through. Agnieszka managed an emergency week in London to see her mum, but the rest of us will wait for next year.
Last year I said I'd try to be fitter, and I've largely managed that, doing workouts with future.co. My shoulders hurt much less. I'll continue that.
At work, I worked on a couple of projects in DMs. I didn't think they really made sense, and indeed they didn't work out. I managed to refactor the code to be more managable while I was there, so it wasn't a total loss.
I moved on to the Tweets team to work on emoji reactions as a replacement for the Like button, and really that's not going well either. It introduces a need for consideration to an action that's largely muscle memory, so overall counts are down. There's a blog post in all this perhaps.
I took on leadership of a "pod", the Web Labs pod, helping a dozen or so folks to ship "Twitter Blue" with Top Articles, Ad-free Articles, Reader mode and Undo Tweet.
In between all these projects I added a simple API for storing flags - just a "seen it" record for educational messages. That worked out really well for a number of projects.
I also hacked up an interface to allow video caption uploads, and shipped it. Sadly we didn't have metrics for captions-viewed, but I hope it was appreciated. It won hackweek as part of the accessibility-improvements group - I've never won before!
Other side projects included a radical update to Twitter's error pages, and a migration of the "conversation" screen to graphql, massively simplifying the "landing page" experience at the same time. I took advantage of some brief ownership of the Composer to throw in some major renaming and refactoring, though there's still more I want to do.
I feel like the major projects haven't really worked out, while my "greasing the wheel" work and "fun side projects" have gone well.
Next year I want to change things up a bit. I've been building Twitter for more than eleven years, and sometimes I wonder if that's all I know how to do any more. Can I still build sites and apps from scratch? Can I still code like I used to? This has been a long year, last year was a long year, and I need a change of pace.
I will also be going to England in the summer to visit family. Definitely.
Thanks for reading! I guess you could now share this post on TikTok or something. That'd be cool.
Or if you had any comments, you could find me on Twitter.