2016 Web Developers Holiday Guide

The holidays are approaching, which may mean some time off, maybe not, but this time of year signifies to me, a time to prepare my work life for the coming new year.

Preparing for the new year before the new year comes is quite handy and will make picking up work again, if you have time off, an easy and refreshing experience.

Protip: Make your bed in the morning so when you come home and its time for bed, theres one less thing for you to do. It helps a lot.

Below is my holiday guide for 2016, which can be reused for future holidays, on what you can do.

Cleanup your machine

This one is high up in importance as over time, our machines become cluttered, unorganised and sluggish.

Some things to do to cleanup your machine for fun and profit.

  • Create a backup system (if you don’t already have one)
  • Archive old files/folders to a single archive folder
  • Remove rarely or never touched archived files
  • Re-organise your files/folders
  • Remove apps you don’t use
  • Update all your apps (and OS)
  • Run a cleaner on your mac (Mac example: http://macpaw.com/cleanmymac and/or https://daisydiskapp.com/)
  • Remove everything off your desktop except for the bare essentials

Finish an existing project

Ahh side projects, they are so fun to start, all this amazing potential and excitement. Unfortunately, a lot of side projects go unfinished, not launched or even abandoned.

Use this time to finish up that project, set aside some time and just smash it out and get it out there.

Maybe the project is finished but you have not updated it for a while.
Updating the project may bring some new life to the project or just give you a piece of mind that its up to date.

Start a new project

If you don’t have any existing projects, why not start a new one?
This can be a great choice if you want to kick the tyres or try out that new language or framework.

React developer? Try a little project using Vue.js instead.
Or maybe try a whole new language like Elixir or Go.

Do a retrospective

Retrospectives, these are my favourite, they don’t have to be yearly, they can be as often as you want, but doing an end of year retro can be beneficial to your career and work life.

Have a listen to Episode 90 of my podcast, Coder Catchup that talks all about retrospectives.

Contribute to an open source project

How often do you use some open source software in your work, projects, etc? That answer is most likely all of the time.
All these benefits you get from free, open source software.

So why not give back and contribute back to some open source software?

Not sure where to start? Check out 24 Pull Requests for a helpful start.
There is also a special page for getting you started.

A simple one to tackle is the readme. Readme documents can usually be improved and can be easy to find problem areas in existing readme documents when you are new and find some parts hard.

I recorded an episode on my podcast, Coder Catchup, The Importance of a Good Readme which explains various areas that a Readme should cover.

A contradiction, take some time off the web!

Now this one is quite the contradiction, its the absolute opposite to all of the above.

I still recommend a lot of the above though before you take some time off.


Get outside, forget your phone, leave it at home, it can be unglued from your hand. I know, hard to imagine.

Spend time with your family and friends, make the most of the holidays, enjoy the outdoors and come back fresh and hungry to take on the challenges in the new year.

What are some things you are going to do during the holidays?

For an audio version of this article, listen at http://codercatchup.com/episodes/53941-episode-098-2016-web-developers-holiday-guide