Web Development Advent Calendars for 2017

A cardboard advent calendar behind a Kurt Vonnegut saint candle and two framed Islamic geometric design prints.
The chocolate tasted like sugared wax. Yet it was still less offensive than the typeface.

For a few years now web developers around the world have celebrated Saturnalia Christmas with advent calendars covering topics related to the web. I expect you will recognize some of these from prior years.

I may have missed some, so please pass them along if you know of not listed. As I learned in prior years where I have tracked them, I don’t know them all on December 1, and update accordingly. Some of this is because the sites don’t promote the new calendar on the home page.

1. 24 Ways (@24ways)

24 Ways, the one that most of this think about for web development calendars, is back again. It’s been going strong since 2005 and based on its history this year should have some good articles.

2. 24 Accessibility (@24accessibility)

24 A11y will spend its inaugural year sharing a series of articles on digital accessibilility from assorted authors.

3. UXmas (@merryuxmas)

UXmas is an advent calendar aimed at the user experience community. Coming from Australia, American readers may be thrown just a bit by the schedule. This year the organizers are experimenting with shorter content and different formats.

4. Performance Calendar (@perfplanet)

Performance Calendar hails this as the speed geek’s favorite time of the year, ostensibly because of the tips it has been offering each December since 2009. It isn’t just server optimizations you’ll find here, so don’t shy away because you’re not a system admin.

5. 24 Pull Requests (@24PullRequests)

24 Pull Requests is less an advent calendar than it is an effort to mobilize developers. The goal is to get developers to send a pull request every day in December (up to Christmas), thereby supporting your favorite open source projects. There are even Coderwall badges for those who collect those sorts of things.

6. Lean UXmas (@LeanUXmas)

Lean UXmas collects the most popular articles from the Agile & Lean UX News mailing list, presented throughout the month.

7. SysAdvent (@SysAdvent)

SysAdvent is aimed at systems administrators, but there is a some cross-over to web developers. It has posts dating back to 2008, so there is plenty of good material there if you’re too impatient to wait for each day to be revealed.

8. 24 Days in December (@24DaysInDec)

24 Days in December is a PHP-specific advent calendar. It looks like its goal is to give back to the same community from which the author has learned, which is a good metaphor for the holiday.

9. AWS Advent (@awsadvent)

The Amazon Web Services advent calendar is back this year, though it starts on December 25. As in previous years, lots of technical tips to getting the most from AWS.

10. Advent of Code (@ericwastl)

Advent of Code provides a small programming puzzle every day up to Christmas. They are stand-alone, but supposedly have a general theme. They also use different technologies so there is some variety as well.

11. 24 Days in Umbraco (@24DaysInUmbraco)

24 Days in Umbraco is dedicated to the Umbraco CMS. Now in its sixth year (the calendar, not the CMS).

12. Shape Christmas (@ShapeChristmas)

It’s a Shape Christmas is returning for its third year. Creatives are asked to illustrate (and likely animate) a shape with a theme for the holidays.

13. Christmas Experiments (@christmasxp)

Christmas Experiments is intended to demonstrate different WebGL experiments from assorted developers, ideally showcasing new ideas and new people each year.

14. 24 Jours de Web (@24joursdeweb)

24 Jours de Web is back (after skipping 2016) as an advent calendar for web folk. Written in French, it is clearly primarily targeted at French speakers, but a round of Google Translate will open it up to far more readers (like me).

15. The Content Strategy Advent Calendar (@gathercontent)

The Content Strategy Advent Calendar is not a technical calendar but instead is focused on providing advice and tips on all things content related. Each day a new video will be revealed from a content strategy expert (this year it has closed captions, at least for day one).

16. Calendrier de l’avent de l’Afsy (@assoafsy)

Calendrier de l’avent de l’Afsy is a community-driven advent calendar (also in French) that is planning to cover all facets of development with Symfony or PHP in general.

17. Web Accessibility Advent Calendar (@kazuhito)

Web Accessibility Advent Calendar 2017 is in Japanese, and thanks to the wonderful powers of Google Translate, I can tell you that anything form poems to posts count as long as they are about accessibility: Webアクセシビリティに関する内容であれば、ガチネタでもポエムでも構いません。). If you know Japanese, I welcome any corrections.

18. Perl Advent Calendar (@perladvent)

Perl Advent Calendar goes all the way back to 2000 (and back then looked a bit more like a traditional advent calendar, too) and has been dispensing tips for Perl developers ever since.

19. Perl 6 Advent Calendar

Perl 6 Advent Calendar is conveniently timed with the anniversary of the first release of the Perl 6 specification. It will post something the authors like about Perl 6 each day.

20. Happy Gridvent

Happy Gridvent appears to be both an experiment in grid and a collection of links to CSS grid articles, sites, and tutorials. They are all available now, so you do not have to wait a full month to check them out. Keyboard-only users may find it… tricky to use.

21. Christmas advert accessibility review (@DigA11y)

Christmas advert accessibility review is dedicated to examining the accessibility of popular Christmas video advertisements (such as TV commercials). It will examine them for captions, audio description, and so on.

22. GopherAcademy Advent

GopherAcademy Advent has been running since 2013. The posts in the calendar are all related to Go and were submitted from volunteers.

23. Data-driven Advent Calendar (@journocode)

Data-driven Advent Calendar is bunch of tutorials, interviews, games, and other contributions. It is produced by Journocode, a collection of journalists and computer scientists working in newsrooms across Germany. Thanks to Jens in the comments for this one.

24. Digital Self Defense

Digital self-defense by Digital Courage is an advent calendar dedicated to provide a daily nugget to help you take a step closer to protecting yourself online and freeing you from invasive services.

25. Front-end Advent (@digitpaint)

Front-end Advent is a sort of a playground for Dutch firm Digitpaint. The idea is to show of some new or lesser-known CSS and HTML features, ones they have not vetted in real projects.

26. Immersive VR/360 Calendar (@Vragments)

Immersive VR/360 Calendar is a collaboration among members of the VR community. Each day a new immersive scene will be added, which you can view using Oculus Rift or current browsers.

27. React.Christmas (@selbekk)

React.christmas is new to me, thanks to SirGobblins in the comments. Each day it will post an interesting nugget, tip, or trick about ReactJS. I didn’t even realize .christmas was a gTLD, so I learned something new.

Not Web

The Economist is running a daily chart advent calendar. While it is not about the web, it is deployed on the web and it has interesting and current stories and background for each of the charts.

Previous Years

I started tracking these in 2010. Since then some have come and gone. For the ones not returning, in many cases the content is still out there. Take a look and maybe you’ll find an older article that is useful today.

Not Listed

Deborah Edwards-Onoro posted her own collection just a little ago. It has all the same calendars with three exceptions — one is on Twitter only, and two require you to sign up (one for copywriting tips, another for marketing downloads). I generally don’t list advent calendars that follow those models.

5 Comments

Reply

In Japanese though, FYI: https://adventar.org/calendars/2088

Reply

Awesome list, thanks.

I just published a short post with a suggestion for people who really would like to give back to all the nice folks doing advent calendars.

Wondering if people will like (and do) this, or not… :)

Reply

Hi Adrian,

there is a advent calendar about data journalism: http://advent17.journocode.com/

Reply

Hi Adrian,

I found another one. This time the calendar is from the Netherlands: https://advent2017.digitpaint.nl/

:-) Now you have 24!

Reply

Very talented friend of mine wrote this one: http://react.christmas

SirGobblins; . Permalink

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