What do I want to learn in 2014?

It’s the start of a new year, and lots of folks are making resolutions. I’ve never been big on new year’s resolutions myself, but I did want to think about what I want to learn in 2014.

I had a great 2013 – most notably because we welcomed our second child into the family. He’s been an absolute blast, and I wouldn’t trade a minute with him (well, maybe some of the late night wakings).

However, I don’t feel like I actually learned that many new things in 2013 when it comes to web development and design. I built several large projects for work, and even one large personal project, but I was mostly working in existing skill sets.

In the web world, and in Front End Development specifically, if you stop learning, you’re going to get run over – quickly.

So, I put together a list of things that I want to learn more about in the coming year:

  1. JavaScript – I need to get much more comfortable with vanilla JavaScript, and understanding formal programming concepts as it has to do with JavaScript. I need to learn more about smart ways to organize JavaScript files so they are more maintainable. The front end world is already heading towards a JavaScript-dominated future, and I need to be ready (or, more ready than I feel that I am at the moment). JavaScript is the “lingua franca” of the front end world – everything ties back to it.
  2. SVG – will be the future of non-photographic graphics on the web. I need to more fully understand SVG, the various ways to implement it, modify it, and manipulate it through either CSS or JavaScript.
  3. CSS Animations – more than simple transitions – keyframes, the whole bit. I’m still not entirely clear on what is possible, and how to implement it.
  4. Better SASS architecture – what I currently build is awfully intertwined, tightly coupled, etc. For example, I use lots of clever @extends and lots of variable names. I need to learn to simplify and reduce dependencies between my various pieces of code, because it’s a nightmare for anyone to follow me and untangle what I’ve done.
  5. Test based development – on the front end, using something like Phantom JS. I’ve been reluctant to try it as most of my work is on temporary projects, but we do have a handful of ongoing projects something like Phantom would be especially helpful on.
  6. Drupal 8 – it’s coming, and it’s exciting. I want to finally be able to contribute, as well as learn how to build a theme for Drupal 8 using the new templating engine, TWIG.
  7. Front End frameworks / web app frameworks – like Angular, node, backbone, etc. I may not be able to build a complex app myself, but I want to at least be able to tell the difference.

What do you want to learn this year? Did this list spark any thoughts? I would love to hear about it!