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Reflecting on 2012

Published on 26 December 2012

As another year comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve learned over the past twelve months. It’s certainly been an important year for me.

Starting off on the wrong foot

At the beginning of the year I was in a job that I found very dissatisfying. I was forced into using outdated technologies and was asked to do several things which I considered to be bad practice. I was also finding it hard to get a new job because I was obliged to work two months notice which potential employers found off-putting.

A blessing in disguise

In February I received a blessing in disguise when the project I was working on got cancelled. I was relieved because the project had been an absolute nightmare and I wouldn’t have wanted my name associated with it in any way. A couple of weeks later I was made redundant as a result of this. I was lucky enough to find a suitable position before my notice period was up.

A shift from client services

The position I found was as a front-end developer at I knew after my two interviews that this would be the perfect role for me. Previously I had always done client-orientated work, but I really felt like I needed a change in focus which is one of the appealing parts about accepting the position at Easyart.

Learning new skills

When I started at Easyart in March, I had a fairly narrow set of skills. I was fluent in HTML and CSS, knew a bit of jQuery and was getting into Less, but that was about it. Throughout the next few months I learned how to use the command line and GIT, improved my JavaScript skills, started using build tools like Grunt JS and started writing selenium tests.

Goals for 2013

I really feel like I’ve come a long way this year and have learned so much. It finally feels like all the pieces are falling into place. That doesn’t mean I don’t have anything left to accomplish though. Here are a few of my goals for 2013:

1. Redesign this site

This year I stripped away all the design from this site, hoping to give it a fresh lick of paint at some point. Whilst I played with the layout a bit throughout the year, I never really took it any further than that. I haven’t done much in the way of design at all this year so this will be a good chance to get my design skills back up to scratch.

2. Re-build this site on Jekyll

I’ve had a few experiments with Jekyll this year but haven’t fully committed to it yet. I really like how straight forward it is and how snappy it makes the sites that use it too. I still think WordPress is a great CMS, but its just a bit too heavy for my humble blog.

3. Write more

I’ve had some degree of writing success this year, having one article published in .net magazine and another at I also started the year blogging relatively frequently on this site with a handful of tutorials which seemed to go down pretty well, although that petered out later on. I’d like to share and document more next year.

4. Experiment more

Whilst I’ve learned so much this year, I want to make more time for experimentation. Like most developers, I learn by doing so I’m hopefully going to be doing more projects just for the sake of learning. I’d also like to get more involved with open-source projects too.

5. Participate in the community

I feel like I became slightly withdrawn from the web community this year. For example, I had started going to Croydon Creatives, but most of this year I let it slip. Living in North London it’s unlikely I’ll be able to attend every meet-up, but I hope to at least attend a few.

I also want to make more of an effort at the other meet-ups, conferences and workshops I attend throughout the year. I’m an introvert so starting up conversations with people I don’t know doesn’t come easy to me, but I still need to push myself harder in this area.

Onwards and upwards

Well, that’s my brief recap of my year and some of my aspirations for the year to come. All that’s left is for me to wish my readers a happy and prosperous new year.