2014 learnings and 2015 objectives

This is the end of the year, and I do realize now that I learned and did a lot this year. I would like to write it down today, as well as what I would like to achieve next year, and see in one year how it went.

2014, the year that ends

First of all, I spend the year in an awesome company with very talented and kind people, with immense pools of knowledge and always ready to share it.

They taught me how to test my code, from unit testing to integration testing, and I now can't code without writing the failing test first (TDD FTW!). And this goes without saying all I learned about Agile methodology and conflict resolution.

I also discovered that my areas of expertises were not where I thought they were. I've always considered myself a full stack developer (whatever that means), but I actually don't know that much about back-end code. Never coded anything in Java or .NET (and don't really want to, either). But I actually have a large experience in front-end matters (from CSS to Javascript). I realized that good CSS skills are actually quite rare.

I went to a wide variety of tech conferences and meetups, and wrote extended summaries. At first it was for my colleagues, but I then made them available to everyone. Those meetups were invaluable source of R&D. Seeing 20mn of live performance of someone convinced of what he's talking about is worth hours of blog reading. And the discussions afterwards made me meet some very interesting people and spawn nice discussions.

So I decided to go to the other side and became a speaker. I chose a subject I really enjoyed and tried to make it as accessible as possible, while keeping the message simple. I quite enjoyed it.

Writing summaries of conferences you've attended makes you rethink what you heard and makes you remember it more. But writing your own talk really makes you go deep in what you know and what you don't know and is an invaluable exercise.

On a purely tech-related side, I extensively learned AngularJs and Grunt. I also discovered Jenkins and sharpened my git skills.

I also migrated this website from a cakePHP based application on a shared hosting to a Jekyll generated website on a private server. I now love the clean simplicity of markdown files versionned with git, and am much more at ease administrating my own server.

2015, the year to come

So, what will next year bring ?

I'll continue attending meetups and conferences, and would like to be a speaker more often. There are some subjects I am passionate about and could talk about and share.

I also would like to invest myself more in the open-source world. I actually only submit bug reports, small pull requests and use GitHub mainly as a backup storage for some of my projects. But none get ever used by anybody else than me. In 2015, I would like to be proud enough of one of my projects to release it and have other people use it.

I only scratched the surface of Rails and Node this year, and never actually pushed a full project in production. I would like to go deeper than tutorials and TODO applications.

I would like to stop developing with AngularJS (after 1.5 years using it, I'm still not at all convinced). React seems a very good approach to the view rendering and I would like to test if further. Why not giving Backbone another chance, and trying Ember.

I would like to go back to one of my first loves, CSS. I haven't touched it enough lately and I really want to have a bit of fun with all the new possibilities flexbox can give us.

Grunt is fine, once you know your way around, but I really need to try out Gulp or Brunch also.

I haven't played enough with Vagrant and/or Docker for my taste. Docker is the future and I would really like to have each of the websites hosted on my server encapsulated in their own containers.

Conclusion

Never stop trying, never stop learning.


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