My 2014 year review

Wednesday, December 31st 2014

Woah. This year has been a blast! I've grown so much as a developer and person it's incredible how much you can change over a year. I want to highlight a couple of things that I learned in 2014.

Started taking JavaScript seriously

I wanted to stop being a glorified CSS pusher. At the time, to steal a coworkers phrase, I could make the DOM dance with jQuery and that's about it. I decided I was going to go all in over the course of a month or two. I scoured MDN and soaked as much information I could possibly take in. At the same time I read two books about JavaScript which helped me start writing pure JavaScript. It also helped me understand JavaScripts worst (and best) quirks.

Without taking this step this year nothing else I'm going to talk about would have happened. This was the only next step for me in my career as a developer.

Started learning Ember.js

I wanted to build something cool in JavaScript and started looking at MVC frameworks. At IZEA I work in a rails project all day and really enjoy their "convention over configuration" motto. I kept hearing a lot of buzz about Angular but their docs were a mess and the community didn't seem as friendly. I spent one day with Ember.js and received help from people on twitter almost as soon as I asked them. Community trumps a framework run by Google everyday.

Started taking Ruby/Rails seriously

This one actually happened on accident. I didn't actively set out to learn ROR, it sort of just happened because I'm surrounded by 10 rails developers at all times. Once I decided to dump WordPress and build my own blog, I knew exactly what the back-end was going to be: Rails. And ever since then I've learned a lot about APIs, Token based Authentication through API, migrations, and more.

Built my blog on Ember/Rails

This might be my favorite point. I dove in head first to replace my WordPress blog with an ember blog because:

  • I wanted to write in markdown and there weren't any decent plugins for that
  • I wanted to play with Ember
  • I wanted to get away from bluehost
  • WordPress was sorta.. slow.
  • PHP. 'Nuff said.

I went to work and replaced my blog. I've had a lot of cool ideas with things I can do now. It's really fun to learn new things with ember because I'm actually building something with it.

Got selected to attend Ember Out East

How often are you able to go out to the Hamptons in New York to hack on Ember things with all the top Ember talent in the world? That's literally what happened to me, somehow, and it was epic. Getting to know people like Stefan Penner, Robert Jackson, Tom Dale, and Trek was a developers wet dream come true. It was well worth the flight and I was the only one that actually flew out for this event (aside from the core team members).

Conclusion

I think that's a lot of growth to go through in a year. I can only hope I keep the pace up next year and learn as much as I possibly can.

Honorable mentions for the 2014 year: