Web Development Advent Calendars for 2016

A cardboard advent calendar behind a leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” next to a sad little spindly tree from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
The chocolate in that calendar was terrible. Terrible enough that I keep re-using this photo since I do not want to buy a new calendar.

For a few years now web developers around the world have celebrated Saturnalia Christmas with advent calendars covering topics related to the web. Some come and go, but you’ll probably recognize a few regulars on this list.

I may have missed some, so please pass them along if you know of any. 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. 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.

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. The calendar promises everything from sketches, to articles, to tools, to videos.

4. Shape Christmas (@ShapeChristmas)

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

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. Jens Grochtdreis (@Flocke)

With the Webkrauts advent calendar not returning this year, Jens Grochtdreis (one of the Webkrauts organizers) will be doing his own advent calendar by presenting 24 CodePens (not necessarily his CodePens) that he has found interesting.

7. 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. While I had it listed last year, it hadn’t launched when I posted this. So I’ve rectified that.

8. 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.

9. Web Advent Calendar (@kosamari)

Web Advent Calendar is a collection of posts from web designers and web developers primarily covering things that interest them. There is no overriding theme, so you can expect a lot of variety. There is also no set publishing schedule — on December 1, posts 1, 2, 4 and 10 were already published, though a couple have already been online for months.

10. 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.

11. Lean UXmas (@LeanUXmas)

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

12. 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 (sadly, as of the first day there are no closed captions).

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Grid by Example (@rachelandrew)

Grid by Example is a collection of CSS Grid examples by Rachel Andrew, though not exactly in advent format. Instead she is posting a new detail about Grid each day running up to Christmas. As such, I linked to the first post instead of a dedicated calendar page.

16. 24 Days in Umbraco (@24DaysInUmbraco)

Thanks to Jan Skovgaard in the comments, I now know about 24 Days in Umbraco, dedicated to the Umbraco CMS. Now in its fifth year (the calendar, not the CMS).

17. FastMail Advent 2015 (@FastMail)

FastMail Advent 2016 is a collection of technical and/or informative posts. I missed it this year but Georg Portenkirchner let me know in the comments.

18. AWS Advent (@awsadvent)

The Amazon Web Services advent calendar is back this year as well (though I also missed it at the start of the month). As in previous years, lots of technical tips to getting the most from AWS.

19. Remy Sharp (@rem)

Remy Sharp, one of the names behind ffconf among other ventures, has his own advent calendar hosted on his blog. It is not a regular countdown advent, but instead daily postings that I am assuming will wrap up by Christmas.

20. QEMU Advent Calendar

The QEMU Advent Calendar provides a new QEMU disk image each day. For those unfamiliar (like me), QEMU is machine emulator / virtualizer that is also open source.

21. Christmas Experiments (@christmasxp)

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

22. Online Toolbox (@online_toolbox)

Online Toolbox has a calendar of freebies from the marketing firm. Two days in, the offerings appear to be from the firm’s existing marketing materials.

23. The Membership Guys Advent Calendar (@membershipguys)

The Membership Guys Advent Calendar is also a collection of freebies from a marketing firm. Days one and two suggest this will also consist of some free marketing materials.

Not a Calendar

24 Jours de Web is not coming back this year, but its organizers have suggested you watch the #nowwwel hashtag on Twitter for random posts throughout December.

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.



If people are into the Umbraco CMS there is also an advent calendar for it at http://24days.in/umbraco-cms, which has a 5 year anniversary this year :)

Jan Skovgaard; . Permalink
In response to Jan Skovgaard. Reply

Awesome! I have completely missed that for five years now. Thanks!


Also FastMail Advent is back this year:
FastMail Advent 2016

In response to Georg Portenkirchner. Reply

Thanks! I even went looking for it and completely failed to go back.

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