Goodnight 2009(edit)

I'm a little late to the game of year reviews (since we're a few days in), but this blog was originally designed to supplement my memory, so I'm going to brain-dump my year, more for me, but also for you (if you're interested!). Here's what I got up to in 2009.

Projects

Aside from client projects, I also like to tinker with technology and launch my own projects, here's a run down of some of my favourites:

  • Full Frontal - our very own JavaScript conference, the idea stemming from a conversation during "snow day" in Feb 2009, where Julie and I sat in a pub and I complained that there should be a JavaScript conference. Come November we ran our own conference at the local indie cinema Duke of Yorks to my great pleasure it was a massive success. Pictures, my review, others: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
  • Snap Bird - out of frustration with the 10 day limit in Twitter's search, I decided to reverse engineer the search structure and apply it to individual timeline lines, which have a limit of 3,200 tweets - busting far out from the 10 day limit, and most of the time you're looking for something specific. It started out as a plain grey project and with a gentle tweet request for design and within a week Chris Bewick and (local) Paul Annett had given me an awesome logo/mascot (Chris) and design (Paul). I use this tool probably once every other day to find various lost tweets, one project I'm damn proud of.
  • JS Bin redesign - with the help of UX local Danny Hope JS Bin is getting a long awaited make over, but also dynamic syntax highlighting and some tighter features, such as milestones. It's not live yet, but it's getting there, and I'm also making the project open source.
  • HTML5 Doctor - I was kindly invited to join the HTML5 Doctors just before they launched offering a JavaScript perspective on HTML5 (though I've written a number of non-JS based articles already). A project that aims to translate the specs for web authors and organised by Rich Clark a great resource for those wanting to learn HTML5.
  • HTML5 Demos - created out of the need to experiment with HTML5, I figured I may as well share those experiments.
  • Twitter hacking - I've built a number of twitter related apps this year, in fact enough to run two demos during the 140 second presentations at Devnest (run approximately every two months). Including a permalink for twitter avatars, an app to find where your friends are located and bunch more :)

Personal

2009 was even bigger than this post can begin to explain for me personally, and a lot of my personal achievements have been in my working life (because I allow - purposely - the two to bleed into each other).

  • Moved house - no less than 5 days after Full Frontal, Julie and I moved house, from our small one bed-flat, to a 3-bed house. A big jump, and we're definitely growing up! It's definitely a family home (though currently it's just us and the cats) and somewhere I can see us staying for a good number of years.
  • Full Frontal - yeah, I'm repeating this one, it was freekin' huge for Julie and I to run a conference that sold out and was a huge success with it's delegates. I'm really looking forward to the challenge again next year.
  • Meeting the locals - 2009 was the first year where I didn't have another job to support my business, so I had to start meeting people if I didn't want to spend a year working from my bedroom with only my cats for company (they're great, but not that great!). So I met people in Brighton, and (I'm partly blaming my Austin experience) I've made new friends I never expected to find - I consider my self a very lucky chap indeed to have met and befriended all the people I have done this year :)
  • jQuery evangelist - I was invited to join the jQuery team as an evangelist, which mostly means continuing what I've been doing, but I'm proud as pudding to be officially representing the library.
  • Publications - the jQuery Cookbook was published in November, I contributed chapter 7 - effects, I contributed a featured article on HTML5 to .net magazine along with a tutorial article a few quotes for jQuery winning the award for best open source app.

Travelling: personal & speaking

  • March: Claviere, Italy - snowboarding, mine and Julie's first solid week of powder. Crazy that we've been snowboarding for 10 years, and only how we get a week of powder. It was awesome none the less!
  • March: Austin, Texas - for SxSWi. Much to my surprise this experience actually changed me. I'm generally quite a shy chap, and Austin forced me to be more on my own than I had been in a long while. I created new friends, something that I've been traditionally very precious about, and now as a man in his 30s, I'm making new friends almost as much as when I was a kid at school.
  • May: All over Peru - Julie and my big trip, 3 weeks out in Peru. We had an absolutely amazing time, walking 4 days to Machu Picchu was an experience of a lifetime. I can rarely express in words the experience, but if you ever have the chance, I'd recommend it in a heart beat.
  • May: Stockholm, Sweden - invited to speak at SWDC arriving only one day after getting back from Peru, proved to be incredibly expensive as jet-lag cost me my return flight home :( None the less, it was great to meet Robert Nyman for the first time, Molly and Dylan again after SxSWi (Dylan saved me with coffee, video adapter testing and Dr Who - so über kudos) and meeting Jan and Malte (who I would meet again for jsconf.eu) and organiser and scandie tasmanian devil: Peter Svensson.
  • June: Stockholm, Sweden - only to return 2 weeks later to speak with Chris Mills to talk at Robert Nyman's Geek Meet. 150 odd people and one of the bigger talks I had given so far, and the feedback was really good (possibly because our talk was to be 2 hours and slightly laden with beer!).
  • August: Leamington, UK - invited to talk HTML5 at the Geek in the Park and really nice day up north (I'm from Brighton, everything is north for me!)
  • August: Zürich, Switzerland - for a friend's 30th birthday, where I got to see quite possible one of the best signage I've seen.
  • October: London & Cambridge, UK - DevDays, talking about jQuery as an introduction to developers, but had the chance to speak to over 900 developers, and to my surprise it went down really well on the day (though criticisms in post reviews were it was aimed too much at the beginner - something I'd agree, and generally don't do), including great quotes like more accomplished presenters shone too, Remy Sharp was first rate!.
  • October: Copenhagen, Denmark - I had some business travelling to do, and I wanted to take Julie along for some of the trip away, so we used Copenhagen as our base and travelled around. It was a pretty city, easy to walk around, but pretty expensive to what we were used to :(
  • November: Malmö, Sweden - for Øredev speaking about jQuery. It was sadly a fleeting visit, but the conference was absolutely huge and the first I'd been to that put the food on for us - I didn't spend a penny!
  • November: Berlin, Germany - again to speak, this time on HTML5 JavaScript APIs for JSConf.eu - which was crazy good. Two solid days of developers listening to JavaScript related talks, so much enthusiasm for language that had been given a bad wrap for many years. I strongly recommend the conference if you can get a ticket for next year.
  • December: Lisbon, Portugal - again talking HTML5 JS APIs, but this time I had time to really hone the content compared to JSConf.eu, and ditched some content and replaced it with more detail, a talk that I think went really well, talking to over 300 people and (hopefully) getting them excited about JavaScript! It was a bit of a boys weekend too, I got to mee André Luï­s (an infinitely nice chap), Brian Suda (and talked about many a project idea), local Brightonian Glenn Jones, Robert Nyman (yep, again - this boy is following me, eh!) and Brian Leroux, (one of the) developer behind PhoneGap & XUI and hardened drinker as Julie and I would find out (Julie met me at the end of the conference so we could explore Lisbon some more).
  • December: Bergen, Norway - more of a commute than a trip, but I got to visit Norway for a fleeting 48 hours while I gave an advanced jQuery and JavaScript workshop.

Then I got home and it was Christmas! Quite possibly the most travelling I've every done in a year, perhaps more than I had done up to that point in my life!

2010

I've got new challenges in the pipeline, some technical, some professional and some personal. For now, if you're still interested, I've started my own 365 project so let's see how I do on that.

Until the next post, thanks for reading, thanks for sticking with me and I hope your 2010 is going to be bees knees :)

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