In the run-up to Christmas, there is a tradition across the web design and development community to produce advent calendars, typically with a new article or resource for each day of December. Last year, I did a roundup of these calendars, and now that the 2019 season is in full swing, here is this year’s line-up.
I’m sure you’ll notice that the majority of the calendars published here are true community efforts, often with the bulk of the work falling to an individual or tiny team, with no budget to pay authors and editors. So, please join us in supporting these efforts; share the articles that you enjoyed reading and join the discussions respectfully.
What follows is an amazing variety of calendars, taking different approaches to the idea of publishing something every day in advent. There are plenty of traditional articles, but also code challenges to get involved with. I’ve tried to locate RSS Feeds and Twitter accounts to make it easy for you to keep track of your favorites. Enjoy!
It’s A Shape Christmas is a digital calendar that counts down to Christmas and reveals a bespoke illustration each day themed around four different shapes (Square, Triangle, Circle and Hexagon) and Christmas. The project was started in 2011 by a UK design agency called Made by Shape. This year, it is showcasing some of the best of the previous seasons.
For twenty-four days, 24 ways is publishing a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring folks a little Christmas cheer. It’s celebrating 15 years of advent publishing and will be taking a well-earned break after this year’s “final countdown”.
24 Days In Umbraco is a calendar of articles relating to the Umbraco CMS. However, the themes of the articles so far this year will be of interest to more people than just those who use Umbraco. I enjoyed the article from December 2nd — Setting The Stage by Laura Weatherhead about public speaking.
PerfPlanet is back for another season with all things speed and web performance. The Web Performance Calendar has been publishing since 2009 and is maintained by Sergey Chernyshev.
Back with 24 thoughts from the PHP family is 24 Days in December. They began publishing in 2015, when Andreas Heigl realized that he missed Web Advent who had stopped publishing in 2012.
Perl Advent is back. Mark Fowler has been publishing since 2000 and is the longest running web advent calendar that I know of. You’ll find insightful articles written by diverse author submissions from all types of Perl programming levels, so sit back and enjoy 2019’s for 24 merry days of Perl!
24 Accessibility are back for a third year of accessibility posts in the run-up to Christmas. The site also has an excellent set of a11y related books, events, and Twitter accounts to follow in the sidebar.
In this calendar, Andrew Shitov is introducing a different programming language each day. I like the fact that for each language he is examining the same set of tasks, which makes for interesting comparisons. It’s an impressive amount of work to undertake.
In 2017 RIPSTECH published a PHP Security calendar and in 2018 a WordPress Security calendar. They are back for 2019 with a focus on Java security. Can you spot the vulnerability in each of the 24 challenges?
Elliott Richmond has come together with other folks in the WordPress community to publish useful WordPress snippets every day of advent to help developers improve their workflow.
A community effort with 50 slots, two per day, for people to claim and write an article about C# development. The articles are hosted on the authors’ sites or on Medium, and so the calendar is a list of links to them all.
Run by Richard Hooper and Gregor Suttie, the initial idea of this advent calendar was to give people who aren’t that well-known an opportunity to share their content with the community. What started with 25 slots expanded to 75. A small community-driven idea brought to you by the community!
This Japanese advent calendar has been running since 2013. Its focus lies on web accessibility, with a new author exploring a topic each day. The calendar is moderated by @hokaccha.
24 Jours De Web is a lovely French calendar which first appeared back in 2012. The creators support the Pierre Deniker Foundation and kindly ask readers to donate to help this charity support mental health research and education.
For the Dutch speakers among you, Fronteers are running an advent calendar on their blog. As last year, each writer chooses a charity, and the Fronteers organization will donate 75 euros on their behalf.
An advent calendar with web development tips in German comes from the SELFHTML community, who are committed to documenting web technologies for German-speaking developers in their SELFHTML wiki.
If you prefer a puzzle over an article, take a look at Advent of Code. Created by Eric Wastl, this is an advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like.
The folks at Hacking Lab bring you a new (white-hack) hacking challenge every day during advent. You earn points based on the difficulty of your solution, but be quick, you need to solve the challenge on the same day to receive full points.
25 Days Of Serverless has a new coding challenge waiting for you every day, for 25 days. Solve it in the programming language of your choice and submit your solution via GitHub. The best solutions will be showcased every week and possibly in a final series recap.
Last year Sarah Drasner announced that she would be highlighting a person and project every day of Advent using the hashtag #devAdvent. She is continuing the tradition this year. Follow along to get to know some new folks and the work they do.
Last year I did a dev advent calendar, and I'm going to keep it going this year. Every day from the 1st to the 25th, I’ll highlight a new person/project that I’m into and think people would benefit from knowing about. ❤️
The hashtag is #devAdvent if you want to follow along
— Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo) November 29, 2019
#CodeTidbits30 Day 1 🎄
For the entire Dec, DAILY posts! 30 days straight of the very best JS, HTML, CSS snippets!
— Samantha Ming (@samantha_ming) December 1, 2019
Last year, Norwegian company Bekk produced four calendars. This year, they are back with twelve! In a blog post, they explain why they are producing such a huge number of articles this year. I learned that there are over 100 authors from within the company — many of who have not written articles before. Therefore, in the lead up they have been taking part in writing workshops. Perhaps we will find some future Smashing authors among them!
The homepage for the project is at bekk.christmas where you can check out the topics that interest you most.
- CSS Christmas
- Functional Christmas
- Java Christmas
- Kotlin Christmas
- Machine Learning Christmas
- Open Source Christmas
- React Christmas
- Security Christmas
- The Cloud Christmas
- UX Christmas
Share The Ones I Missed!
There seem to be even more calendars publishing this year than last, despite the fact that some are taking a break this year. It’s been nice to find some calendars in languages other than English, too! If you know of a calendar related to web design and development that I haven’t mentioned here, please post it in comments section below.
Enjoy your seasonal reading!