2012 year in review

Cat

This last year was spent entirely immersed in startup land working with Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS3 and javascript and coffeescript. It's been a great opportunity to really work on my web skills, and it's certainly been more fun than ever. Now as I look back on all the new experiences, I'm also looking forward to finally starting to focus more on launching my own startup, WealthBar along with my wife.

Some of my personal highlights for this year are...

Now for something a little different here are my top 3 posts ordered simply by page views: <!-- more -->

  1. .NET, so long and thanks for all the fish was an unexpected favorite. After making the HN frontpage it managed to start all sorts of .NET drama, good times. Here's the HN thread
  2. In which I do a partial about face on CQRS was a far distant second. CQRS and event sourcing are starting to see a lot of attention in the .NET and Java world this year, not unlike DCI is in the Ruby world. It appears the right way to do OOP is still pretty controvercial.
  3. What's so great about Bootstrap, in which I gush over how great the framework is for learning solid CSS and HTML techniques. Heck, I even like the way the javascript components are done.

As for my favorite post, I'll go with this counter to the 501 developer manifesto. Though hacking HTML5 to "control the future" was a close second, and a ton of fun.

Also a lot of fun, was organizing Vancouver's first (I think) open space for developers. The Polyglot Conference is a "non-denominational" event to bring developers from different stacks and languages together. Since we all felt it was a great success and the feedback was good we're doing it again this year (more details to follow soon).

My 2012 Favorites

Blog Posts

Where's _why?: As I got into Ruby long after _why "disappeared" this was a good read for me to finally get familiar with the history there. It's a pretty thorough article on who he was and what happened. If you're not familiar with _why's work, give it a read.

Sexism in tech was something of a theme this year (with some good reason). I particularly enjoyed this satire from Rob Conery. This "primer" by Faruk Ates, provides an excellent breakdown of these issues and some of the reasons why we are often oblivious. Faruk has a number of other good posts on the subject so check out his blog. Finally, for those of us involved in organizing conferences or similar events, Eric Evans has some sage advice on solving the pipeline problem I highly recommend reading it.

Now while some developers seemed fed up with all the dialog on sexism in tech, my personal pet peeve was REST. Worn out after spending the better part of 2011 building "RESTful" APIs, I've decided to step back and wait for the dust to settle a bit. There are a lot of interesting, but pretty academic debates going on, and I just don't seem to have the patience to care right now. Once again Rob Conery sums up the situation with some great humor better than I ever could.

Talks

There were some great Oredev talks this year, all of which are available to watch online. In particular Reg Braythwayt's the rebellion imperative, Scott Barnes', unpacking the MS roadmap and Zed Shaw's talk teaching programming. I still have not watched a fraction of the awesome videos from Oredev, and I'm really hoping somehow I can manage to go next year, it looks like an amazing event.

Books

This year's books have definitely been startup oriented as that seems to be what consumes most of my time these days and if I had to pick just one it's gonna be Steve Blank's the Startup Owner's Manual. This is an incredible resource, definitely not something you read all at once, but hugely valuable to anyone involved in building startups and product development. You can also take his online courses through Udacity

However, since I don't have to pick just one, I'm also really enjoying Venture Deals. Venture Capital and shareholders agreements are not exactly rocket science, but they're complex enough I think anyone getting into them for the first time should have a decent guide. This is a decent guide.

Finally, for a very funny and informative HTML5 reality check, grab a copy of the Truth about HTML5. Necessary reading, in my opinion, for anyone just starting to look at the new HTML5 standards. There's a lot of cool things happening as web standards evolve but it's good to see the forest for the bikesheds.

Github

I started starring Github projects a lot just to keep up with all the good ones. Here are some I think are worth checking out:

Well that's it, on the whole, I felt 2012 was definitely a good year, and 2013 is already shaping up to be way better. Life is good. To anyone who cared enough about my year to get this far (and those who just skipped to the end) happy year++; and all the best for 2013.

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