Time for another customary annual round up post. If I still can't get around to blogging regularly then I owe myself at quick reflection once a year.
2012 was a big year for me. I knew I had to make a big effort to outdo it. I also set myself a challenge to do more “quiet time” reading. I completely failed in that respect.
I wrote very few articles this this past year! I don't feel ashamed admitting this, maybe that's part of the problem. I ended up being kept busy enough with other responsibilities and sometimes you just need to focus. I didn't have greatly positive experiences writing for the few popular online blogs I did write for in 2012. It doesn't promote a lot of confidence when an article you spent a lot of time on disappears without warning or explanation.
I want to write a lot more in 2014. Rougher and quicker. Like this post.
What a crazy year. Sally Young talked me into putting together a talk for the London Learning Drupal meeting in February and it ended up forming the basis for many of the talks I gave that year. I spoke about Drupal 8 Design improvements at Drupalcamp London, Dev Days Dublin, and Drupalcon Prague, I took the subject matter to a different level for my talk at Drupalcamp North West. I also spoke about the challenges of introducing Responsive Web Design to an organisation at Frontend United which was ace because there were so many high quality talks and discussions.
I had only spoken twice prior to 2013. I spent a lot of 2013 trying to find my comfort zone in preparation and presentation style. I started trying to be a bit more laid back and confident in my ability to wing it in places and maybe went a bit too far in that direction. Being asked to keynote Drupalcamp North West was a lot of pressure in a good way. It forced me to up my game and because of that it felt like the best talk I've given so far.
I spoke at 5 events in 2013. I think that's probably the sweet spot for me, if not one too many. I turned down a few opportunities to speak. I learnt that it's important to make each presentation you give “special” and give yourself enough breathing room to really spend time on it because you owe it to everyone sitting in the room spending their free time listening to you. I don't want it to feel like I'm just churning out talks. If I had a target for this year it would be to speak at some more non-Drupal events. I feel less intimidated speaking to a Drupal crowd because I know how friendly and supportive the community is. I also now have other responsibilities at Drupal events, let's get to that in a bit.
Last year I worked a lot on the Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative, spending a lot of time designing a new experience for mobile users. Actually implementing this proved to be very difficult and became a big learning curve on working on a large open source project like Drupal core. As everything is issue based and modular, it's actually very difficult to implement global changes.
Enter the Seven Style Guide. Turns out this is exactly what I was missing. It's much easier to re-design every thing instead of just redesigning the mobile experience. I threw a lot of time into getting this implemented (and still am) and I ended up taking responsibility for the entire Seven theme. I now spend a lot of time at Drupal events sprinting and mentoring wannabe front-end contributors. I love it.
I've also been working on getting the Drupal.org theme open-sourced. It sounds trivial but there are some tricky concerns to address. This would be a great achievement, one that I would be very proud of. This will happen.
I did a lot of work for Comic Relief in 2013, helping them with Rednoseday.com and Sportrelief.com which are behemoths of sites with very complex requirements. I haven't really written much about contracting after doing it for about a year and a half, let's save that for another post. The short story is a I joined Wunderroot as a full-time employee and I'm very excited about what 2014 will bring working with them.
We moved from London to Brighton. I like Brighton, having grew up nearby it feels like a of a home town but with a lot of depth to explore.
Having said that, I'm very excited at the prospect of moving to Switzerland in 2014. Bring me that horizon!