Dear Zach

I suppose it's time I responded...

  • Last updated: 18 Jun 2022
  • Est. Read Time: 4 min
  • Tagged: #update, #longtimenospeak

Dear Zach,

Thank you so much for your repeated inquiries regarding the status of my blog. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on what’s happened in the 2,016 days since my last post in 2016.

I still think my critique of those frameworks was fair

Firstly, I moved on from DevRel at Google in the middle of 2017. It was a low-fun decision if I’m honest, but having landed quite a lot of negativity after, well, that last blog post, I thought it was perhaps time I do something else with my days. I still think my critique of those frameworks was accurate, though, and the recent run of low-/no-JS frameworks, as well as the strong shift towards server rendering and progressive hydration, suggests others also had similar takes.

Anyway, I moved to DeepMind for a bit (still part of Alphabet), then I moved back to Chrome in 2018, where I did some stuff with AR. That was fun. After that I worked on Chrome's DevTools, where my team made all manner of changes to the DevTools frontend, such as:

  1. Migrating from a custom module system to ES Modules.
  2. Changing from Closure Compiler to TypeScript.
  3. Upgrading from a bespoke component model to Web Components.

Most of that was unusual work, I have to say, Zach, because the measure of success was not breaking things. Like a mechanic being assessed on the lack of drivers requiring roadside assistance. All good, though. Did a lot, learned a lot, didn’t blog about it once. You may have noticed.

Then the pandemic hit. I thought I was fine (and at the start I probably was), but like many others I found that my mental health suffered as time went on. Unsure which way was up, I felt I needed a change, and so I left Google at the start of 2022, and I’ve been at Spotify since.

Did a lot, learned a lot, didn’t blog about it once.

In amongst all that I've rather enjoyed seeing people make good use of the FLIP animation technique. I didn't realise initially, but it turns out the Svelte animation system is FLIP-based. And then last year, as a Christmas present to the community, the lovely folks over at GSAP decided to make their FLIP plugin freely available. Cassie Evans and Alex Trost did a whole video on FLIP and the plugin. How good is that, Zach!?

Oh, now, I should also tell you a bit more about what’s been happening for me personally, as I know you’d like to hear about that. I decided to do a Masters in Philosophy with Edinburgh University, which I recently completed; they handed me a Distinction, which I’m enormously proud of. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with my camera (when it was possible to be outdoors again!), and you can find a few photos over on Instagram (though I occasionally post some to Twitter, too).

Anyway, that’s me. About 6 years condensed into a single blog post, just for you. Just. For. You.

It won’t be 2,016 days until the next blog post. Pinky promise.

Kind regards,

P.S. Because Apple retired the version of Ruby I needed to build this site, I migrated it from Jekyll over to a static site generator called 11ty. Not sure if you've heard of it, Zach, but I think you should take a look at it. It's adequate.

P.P.S. I collected a set of your "inquiries" for posterity.


Thanks for making me chuckle so much, Zach. <3'z.