So, didn’t 2015 go pretty quick?!
At the start of last year, I wrote a post with the aim of documenting some of the achievements of the previous 12 months, while setting out some goals for the forthcoming year. It’s nice to have these documented somewhere to be able to look back on them in the future and so I wanted to do the same at the start of 2016.
As a side note – the fact that you’re reading this means that in all likelihood you’ll have visited this site previously and have helped contribute to the growth of this site over the last 12 months – and for that I’m really grateful :)
I’ve loved my time so far at JUST EAT. I’ve been working on the responsive redevelopment of our International Platform, leading the front-end platform side of the project. This is a challenge which I’m really enjoying; being able to see how the decisions that we make as a team can help to improve the site for users and for our own development workflows is the thing I most enjoy about working on such a large-scale project.
I previously wrote about how proud I was of the work I was a part of at TMW and that is still very much the case when I look back on my time there now.
This time last year, one of my main goals was to continue writing regularly and to grow the readership of this blog through writing about front-end topics that interest me. Last year I wrote 10 posts, slightly down on the 13 posts I wrote in 2014. I am putting this down to real life getting in the way slightly, having relocated and changed jobs among other things.
The biggest success has been in the overall growth of the sites readership. While 2014 saw 38,561 pageviews and 31,494 sessions, the last 12 months have seen a barely believable 176,322 pageviews and 150,883 sessions. The most popular post by some distance was The State of Frontend Tooling Survey that was posted at the start of September, with 76,697 unique pageviews.
These stats really are incredible – if I needed any extra incentive to make more time to write more, then this is definitely it!
Although I try not to put too much value on Twitter followers, it’s nice to record it. At the start of this year I had 972 followers – I didn’t record how many followers I had this time last year, but I’m pretty sure that it has close to doubled over the last year.
2015 was a relatively quiet year for speaking. I gave talks on Exploring our Front-end Workflows down at Digital Croydon and at the Bristech conference in Bristol. I’d love to give a few more talks this year, so I’m planning on sending out a few proposals and seeing what comes of them. If you’d be interested in having me talk at an event – or know of an event that you think I may be able to add something to – then be sure to get in touch.
Steady is probably the word that best describes my open-source work throughout 2015 – it is certainly my aim to spend more time on these projects in 2016.
Kickoff, the lightweight front-end framework I help maintain with Zander Martineau, recently reached v6. The project has grown steadily over the last 12 months, with 338 stars on Github and the Kickoff Yeoman generator now being downloaded roughly 700 times a month.
The other project I maintain, Statix, has seen minor updates, but is in definite need of some love – one of the top items on my to-do list for 2016. For those who don’t know, Statix helps make creating HTML templates much easier and is great for template creation or prototyping.
Some of my time this last year has been spent working on another open-source project, based around front-end guidelines and tooling. I’m aiming to get this finished and released within the first half of 2016.
This was one area in which I was much quieter than I intended to be. I still love making code demos on CodePen and I’m going to make sure I’m slightly more active on this front in 2016.
None-the-less, one of my demos – A bunch of Funky CSS3 Toggle Buttons – was in the Top 100 Pens of 2015, which was awesome to see.
2015 was a hectic, but awesome, year on a personal front. My girlfriend, Sarah, and I have now moved in together in South Wales. It’s been amazing to not have to drive back and forth from London and I’m really enjoying being back in Wales and working in Bristol – both areas have changed a huge amount since I last lived in the region (in a good way!).
Sarah and I have reserved a house to buy, which we’re hoping to complete on later this year. Needless to say, we’ve both got everything crossed so that that all goes ahead smoothly.
I was also the best man at two weddings in 2015; for my brother and for my best friend. Both were fantastic experiences, as well as a tremendous honour, but I’m now hoping that I can hang up my best mans hat for the foreseeable future – it was a lot more work than I expected!
My main goals for 2016 are to build on everything I’ve been doing these last couple of years.
I want to continue writing regularly as well as launching the side-project that I’ve been working on and getting that off-the-ground this year. I’d like to get back to contributing to more open-source work too, as this is something that dropped off slightly last year due to personal commitments.
In terms of learning, I intend to really dig into ES2015 (aka ES6) and move our team at JUST EAT towards using it for our platform development.
I also plan to solidify my knowledge on the new CSS layout properties. I’ve used flexbox a fair bit now, but the new CSS Grid properties should hopefully hit in 2016 and that’s one area I know very little about.
So that’s my year in review – how about yourself? What have you achieved in 2015?
If you haven’t done so already, take a few moments and think about the work you’ve done throughout 2015, setting yourself some rough goals for the year ahead.
…and Happy New Year!
Article posted on the 13th January 2016