Dev memories 2013

December 18, 2013 - By

2013 has been the busiest year of my career by far. I have churned out probably 2 or 3 times the websites of all previous years (heck, I’ve been a key player on the launch 7 sites in the last 2 weeks). It’s also been busy personally with the launch birth of a second child!

A downside is I haven’t had the time for creative exploration or writing that I have in previous years; but this has been a massive time for growth as a developer. Here is my year in review:

Favourite learnings and changes

  • SASS – Preprocess all the things. So many advantages to this. So much fun!
  • Being less of a stubborn jerk about command line (see above)
  • Moving from single line to multi-line CSS
  • Doing Documentation about 300% more
  • Doing about 95% responsive work (only 2 sites that were old-school traditional desktop)
  • Collaborating – a move to Agile (intentionally not on the list!) has made for lots of fun co-coding which forces a better way of working
  • WordPress Chops – Working with VIP to launch BlackBerry Blogs gave me lots of opportunities to learn about WordPressifying themes. Favourite new tools include using Theme Options, and getting crazy on Custom Fields.
  • Getting more involved with the UX team – and specifically weighing in on Wireframes done in Axure. This is one of my favourite innovations of the year.
  • Dummy links going to #? instead of # – stupid small change to not scroll to the top of the page!
  • Creating more reusable code like our own standardized Grid system.

Peerless Peers

I also want to give shout outs to some of the people I’ve worked with this year! There are many I could name, but these are the top three!

  • Tim Ziegel is my desk-neighbour, and the most savvy JS guy I’ve ever met. I’ve learned a ton from him this year on thinking like JavaScript; and on troubleshooting in the browser.
  • Ryan Bruce is another designer / front end developer I love to brainstorm code practices with. We have a semi-competitive understanding about finding the best ways to code and architect future-proof structures. It’s more fun than that sounds.
  • Matt Klassen is actually my manager! Working with him has dramatically reduced my interruptions, and has given me the best coding conditions possible with regards to stress and focus! Without Matt’s direction I may have been dissolved into a dusty paste.

And my favourite change of the entire year: Not developing. In my free time I’ve been getting away from the computer and learning to do some more handy-man things. I think this break makes me a better developer overall. There can definitely be too much of a good thing. If I wanted to keep up my extracurricular experiments and writing up, it would come at a cost I am not willing to accept.

I hope next year will see some more creative outbursts!

I’d love to know what everyone else’s favourite learnings have been.

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This post was written by ArleyM