My 2014

I’m writing this post to remind me in the future how awesome my 2014 was and for a kick in the bum to make my 2015 as equally awesome.

Career

Probably the most obvious achievements can be noticed within my career. Not only did I help deliver several new websites at Forepoint for some high profile clients, I also landed myself a job at the BBC working within the content discovery department as a web developer.

I am loving every second of it (apart from the 2.5hr journey each way until I relocate).

Each day something new is learnt which I felt at the beginning of the year I was not doing and was becoming a bit stale.

I also got some time in the summer to rewrite my personal website which showcases some previous projects I’ve worked on and allows me to effectively post blogs. I guess I see this as an achievement because your own website tends to get overlooked whilst you are busy working on other projects.

Development

Becoming a better developer is always one of my top priorities and 2014 was a good year to let me expand my knowledge.

I started developing iOS apps with Swift, the new language from Apple whilst still using Objective-C for some of my legacy projects. I currently have a few apps in development using Swift and I am hoping towards the middle of 2015 to launch these apps.

I rebuilt my digital ocean server using Ansible after researching Chef and Puppet. Ansible just makes life easier and with Vagrant allows my development environment and my production environment to be exactly the same. I know you can do this with chef and puppet but ansible just worked without any agents and no fuss.

2014 was also the year I stopped relying on jQuery for frontend JavaScript development and started to use React. Its still early days but loving it at the moment.

Since starting at the BBC, I have been learning TDD and BDD. Whilst I still have a long way to go I believe I am making good progress learning the testing frameworks and what to test and why to test certain things.

I also started developing Flexdd, a modular frontend framework giving you sensible defaults and allowing you to easily configure it to your liking. It also includes javascript goodies like sliders and faders. I aim for version 1.0 of Flexdd to be released sometime in 2015 probably towards the middle.

Personal life

2014 marked the year that myself and Chloe had been together a year and was the first time we had a holiday together. It may be a small thing and it may not even matter that we went on holiday together but it proved to me that I love her :)

Since leaving university I’ve let my organisational skills slip and 2014 was the year I finally got my act together again. I am officially a list man now, I’ve got a list for everything and Chloe doesn’t realise it, but I’ve got her using a Kanban board ^__^ so I guess that’s an achievement.

If you are reading this and you know me personally, you’ll know I’m not overly confident and hate speaking out or doing presentations, well 2014 was the year where I gained some confidence and did a presentation. I’ll be putting myself into more uncomfortable situations in 2015.

Being a developer means sitting down for 7+ hours a day looking at a screen and whilst at the moment it might not be causing me problems I thought it would be a good idea to start looking after myself more. In the summer I managed to run 7 miles a day and recently started going to the gym. I plan to carry this on in 2015 and beyond.

Conclusion

My 2014 was amazing and I’m hoping my 2015 will be as good with exciting new challenges like moving to manchester with Chloe, releasing a couple of apps and continuing to hit my personal goals.

CSS First

Hybrid iOS development isn't over yet.