2010: Year in Review

Another year has passed and this has been the best yet. Most years fly by without me having any real record of what I have achieved or where I need to improve to better myself, so this year I decided to set myself a list of goals to help shape my life. Find out how I did!

Another year has passed and this has been the best yet. Most years fly by without me having any real record of what I have achieved or where I need to improve to better myself, so this year I decided to set myself a list of goals to help shape my life. My list was split into for sections: Personal, Fitness, Programming and Business so I will follow that theme with this review.


This part was about bettering myself as a person. Gaining new experiences, seeing new things and opening my mind. I have read a great few books, namely Brave New World, Tiger Force, Dune (that was a bloody effort) and a few other less known books such as I Am Not A Serial Killer and The Outsider; both of which make you really question your mental state.

I crossed the pond for the first time and visited San Francisco which was an amazing experience. While I was there I went to EECI2010 and while I didn’t get to speak again it was a brilliant time and a bizarre interval amongst two weeks of drinking with hostel buddies. I headed up to Canada and spent some time with Lee Tengum and his family. Everything you have heard about Canadian hospitality is true, but their bacon is worthless.


Total letdown. I started off the year training for the Bath Half Marathon which I was very proud to finish in 1:59 after suffering some knee problems 2 miles from the end. God knows what I did, probably not enough warm-up and cool-down while I was training but they are shot. This was only March so my plans to train for the Tough Guy, Grime Challenge or London to Paris Cycle were shot. I still get pain walking now!

The Kayaking has gone very well. I’ve gone from a wobbly regular swimmer to being a confident paddler who is not afraid of a challenge. I’ve learned to roll although I have yet to try it in anger, but I’m sure the opportunity will come up soon. I sadly did not achieve my 3* award this year but not through any fault of my own. I am on a course which starts in two weeks, so that’s not really a fail right?


Oh dear god the coding, THE CODING. IT HASN’T STOPPED!

This year was about coding new things and breaking out of my stagnant slump of 100% PHP and building CodeIgniter CMS by day and another CodeIgniter CMS by night.

I’ve made a few ExpressionEngine Add-ons; the very well accepted Rest and the basically un-noticed Widgets which hit a goal and made some cash. This seemed like a market and community I would be interested in getting into as it meant leaving the CMS dev to others while I just make some buckaroos, but with no real understanding of client needs or experience building sites with it I soon realized I was just doing it for the sake of it. On the plus side if a client needs me to build add-ons for EE then I can do it, but I won’t be trying to take on Pixel & Tonic or Leevi Graham any time soon.

As for learning new languages, I left this a little late. I got all over Ruby on Rails with some videos from Think Vitamin and a lot of pestering Elliott Kember and Red Davis for help. I have worked past the initial honey-moon period and wont go around telling everyone to use it all the time for everything as so many other converts do, but I will say that it’s fucking awesome. What started off as a simple learning exercise is blossoming into a full-blown web-app called Travlr which will really come into it’s own soon.

I have stolen sourced several ideas from Rails for a new framework started by Dan Horrigan that myself and others are working on called FUEL. It combines the best of Kohana, CodeIgniter, Rails and a few other bits and bobs, combined with a huge amount of our own ideas and community contributions. The BETA will hopefully be 01/01/2011, so it’s nearly ready for world domination.

But where does that leave CodeIgniter? Well I am still loving it “long-time” and now I have commit access to a new community branch: CodeIgniter Reactor which will be out soon too. The contributors (or Engineers) are a brilliant group who I have a great deal of respect for. Contributing to this project is a great feeling as finally I can directly contribute to the framework I use every day and help improve it for everyone.

Sadly my Objective-C goes as far as Hello World! and I haven’t even scratched the surface of Python but there are only so many hours in the day. I have a decent understanding of C and feel confident that I will be on top of iPhone App development in the New Year, with the first app being iTravlr.


Now for all this open-source coding and writing, I still need to make some money. I was asked to write a CodeIgniter Cookbook but Packt bailed on me after I spent weeks writing up the outlines. To be honest: I am glad. You work your arse off for those guys and get 20% of not much.

On a more positive note I have managed to get the PyroCMS Add-on Store up and have teamed up with a brilliant designer Scott Parry of iKreativ. Working together we will be an unstoppable force of web-app creating ninja fiends. In all, business is looking good for 2011.

Most Popular Posts of 2010

Goals For 2011

  • Make PyroCMS a Ltd company with profit margins big enough to justify support time.
  • Double traffic over the next year. If I start to struggle I can just post photos of Derek Allard in a mankini.
  • Kayak in 3 countries (not in the UK).
  • Create a paid iPhone app with more than 100 downloads.
  • Successfully set up CICON2011 in UK, Amsterdam and US (and stay sober until afterwards)