I had a very eventful (and busy) 2010 and certainly saw it off in style on Friday night.
Now, back in the world of work I thought I’d quickly record some of my highlights and review some of the big things that have happened to me in the last 12 months. An end of year diary if you will.
It started off slowly as I was still lost in the humdrum outback that is Ipswich. I spent my time planning escape routes, playing on my new iPhone and planning escape routes.
Then in March everything changed for the better. It was the pivotal moment of the year. I was looking for my final BT grad scheme placement and was lucky enough to a) find a potential opening in the Osmosoft team, and b) lucky enough to get it given my relative lack of web development experience.
This was massive for me. It gave me the chance to experience a potential career path I’d yet to experience, but one I wanted to experience. It got me to London, moving in with my girlfriend at the same time (scary). It shaped the rest of the year.
Through my work I have developed (a lot) as a web designer and developer – a huge thank you must go out to my Osmosoft colleagues – but I also understand how far I have still got to go. The plan is for this development to accelerate in 2011. However, one of the biggest things I will take from work this year is an understanding of the importance and power of open source and transparency. It is a philosophy that is important in so may ways – a topic worthy of it’s own post – and a philosophy that sits well with me. I feel I have always been more comfortable the more open things are. I now have a mild case of digital claustrophobia.
In a similar vein 2010 was the year I really started to tried to immerse myself in the web design/dev community. For example I’ve been attending conferences, such as the excellent Playful’10, and events such as Mozilla’s Open Web Gaming Special Event. It is also the year I started using twitter properly. I no longer have an account just because everyone has an account. I, also, created a proper homepage for my site and set up this blog (although admittedly haven’t got much further than that). I now have my own, tiny small, foot print on the web. A presence.
2010 is the year I went Mac and, yes I’ll admit it, I’d be surprised if I ever go back. It would take something special. Whilst admiring some of their philosophies, I was always opposed to going Mac due to a few issues I had (and still have) with Apple and their closed, better than you nature. Then in the summer I started to use a MacBook Pro and must admit it has so far been a pleasure. I find it so much more useful for working on the web and developing. It is a fine fine piece of kit. Even the opening of the box it came in was enjoyable.
At a similar time to my Mac schooling I decided to bite the bullet and buy a decent camera. I’d been umming and arring for a while but after seeing a colleague’s Olympus E-P1, and then another colleague’s Olympus E-P1 I couldn’t resist so I bought one too. It is a perfect size for me, it’s great for a beginner and it isn’t too expensive. With it being a micro 4/3s camera it has the added bonus of allowing me to experiment with cheap seconded hand manual lenses. I now own 3 Canon FD lenses, which have cost less than £60 all in – it is a hobby I can afford. Checkout my flickr stream to see how I’m getting on with it.
On the photo front I take my hat of for the Instagram app. Because of it I have, for the first time ever, started using my phone’s camera on a regular basis. By far and away my favourite app of the year.
More recently, my work has led me down a more design orientated path. Something which I have enjoyed and am excited about doing a lot more in 2011 and in the future. Without doubt this is where my passion lies. Through this I have started sketching again. After 5 years of not drawing I’ll admit it is taking me a while to get back into it. I’d forgotten how useful and liberating it is.
The joy of sketching is my rediscovery of the year.
On the topic of imagery and visual stimulus, my favourite trend of the year has to be the increasing popularity and prominence of infographics. This trend must have something to do with David McCandless and the success of his great great book Information is Beautiful. I love infographics, I think they are amazing and I think they will only become bigger, better and more useful as their demand and the art becomes greater and more refined in 2011. With more and more data becoming freely available surely this will happen – I certainly hope it does.
All in all 2010 was a solid year. Lots occurred, marginally work heavy but fun was definitely had. Therefore it can have a high 7.