It’s time for my year in review article!
I started this last year, and I’m sure I’ve done some before that, but this is probably the most packed!
🙋🏻♂️ Personal Moments
This year has been quite a significant one for me personally, in that I’ve reached a few major milestones.
You could say now being 25 is a milestone, but I can’t say I put any effort into that, so it’s not exactly what I was thinking of. I would probably say the three main ones would be finishing university, getting my first job in development, and also my general attitude towards development, because I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of creating this year.
To expand on the first two a bit more, the course I completed was Computer Science, and it sure was a relief to finally finish that. I’m sure other people may have found it useful, but I think I went in with slightly too much experience, where I found it rather boring. Especially as I was writing Swift by then, and the course was mainly in Java. However, I did it, and I won’t have to do it again.
My new job is an iOS Developer at an international money transfer company, based in London, called World First. I don’t want to get into too much detail on it, but it’s certainly a big change from what I used to do as a job. Because although I’ve been programming and making apps for quite some time, my actual day to day job was an engineer, repairing and configuring physical electrical equipment. It sure is a big step, and it’s even better than I thought it would be.
So now for what I’ve been making myself. It’s been a mixed year, but basically I’ve made some iOS and Mac apps, along with a couple extra things.
- H News – A very basic hacker news client app for iPhone, which was fun to make, but there’s no way it’s going to be released on the App Store.
- TodoApp – It’s in the name, but this is a simple “task manager” app I developed for a job interview, which I then had to turn down 😎.
- Pretty Regular Expressions – This is two apps – macOS and iOS. It’s a regular expression editor, and checker, although I’m not sure if I even know how to describe it.
- cwiki – Basically the search and reading functionality of Qwiki, but put into the command line.
- slink – Another one of my now long retired apps, Tiny Me which was a goo.gl url shortener, turned into command line form.
- hacker – 💤 You know the story, the command line version of the H News app.
- TitleCase – I promise this is the lat one. This is another command line app, but this time it was from scratch. It makes use of Brett Terpstra’s TitleCase API, and makes it accessible from the…
- Keep Track – This is an iOS app I made as my project in my final year of computer science, and it’s a basic organiser of things. I was learning Realm database, and also some things like searching, filtering, and other parts of iOS development.
- Hydrate (In Progress) – One of my “current” projects, this is a water intake tracking app for iOS. I already know that there are good alternatives, but it’s more of a personal project, that will be released when it’s done.
- SOLID – A very simple wallpaper generator app for iOS. It was made because of my desire to easily create a solid wallpaper background. I later added themes, standard colours, and saving!
- TextCase API – Something quite random, but I expanded upon the TitleCase functionality, and built my own custom title case formatter, along with the Mocking Spongebob case.
I’ve been doing a lot of travelling recently, and I hadn’t realised how much of it was in 2017 until I looked back through all my photos.
Turns out, I did travel quite a lot within England, and a few extra countries too!
Here are the places I’ve visited this year (Stayed for at least one night):
- Bournemouth, England.
- Reading, England.
- Eastbourne, England.
- Barcelona, Spain.
- Albufeira, Portugal.
- Dublin, Ireland.
- Killarney, Ireland.
- Wells-next-the-sea, England.
- Tenerife, Canary Islands.
- Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
And of course, countless days and nights in London.
So if you count the Canary Islands as being separate to Spain (as they pretty much are), I’ve travelled to 5 different places this year!
However, I could do better!
As always, I’ve been writing for this blog all year. But here are a few of my favourite pieces:
- Use Regular Expressions to Return to 140 Character Tweets (8th November)
- New Watch(es) Strategy (26th September)
- How I’m Keeping up to Date with Twitter (23rd August)
- Small File Sizes and Quick Load Times (11th July)
- Getting Started with UITableView: Populating Data (10th March)
- The Original Apple Watch is a Steady Favourite (7th March)
- Putting Your Xcode Project on GitHub the Easy Way (1st March)
🙌🏻 What I’ve Enjoyed
I’m a constant consumer of most things, so I just thought I’d pick out a few recommendations.
- 🎵 Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Ride Album (Technically came out in 2016, but I heard it in 2017).
- 📖 The Martian by Andy Weir.
- 📖 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Currently reading, but super interesting!).
- 🎤 Star Talk Podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice.
- 🎤 The Instance (World of Warcraft podcast for true nerds 🤓).
- 📺 Game of Thrones
- 📺 Planet Earth II
- 📺 Blue Planet II
- 🎥 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- 🎥 Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
- 🎥 Everest (2015)
- 🎥 Blackfish (2013)
Now for my current tech that I own and use/don’t use. It is admittedly, rather simple.
My main device is my MacBook, I’m not a 100% iOS guy, and I probably never will be. My 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is my favourite device. I even love the keyboard. And the Touch Bar too!
After that, I would have to say the next important is my iPad Air 2, and my iPhone 7 Plus, neither of them I plan to upgrade with any urgency. I’m really happy with my iPhone, and my iPad can only be bettered by getting an Apple Pencil, which of course would require a new iPad. So not a priority.
To tie these devices together, I own a Series 3 Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods. Both of these I couldn’t live without, and I never leave the house without either of them.
Apart from these devices, everything else is used sporadically.
I have a Kindle that I use for reading when travelling, a PS4 I use when I want to play Fifa, an Apple TV I use for a few days when a new update comes out, and an Amazon Echo that hasn’t even been switched on for months.
So really, my current tech usage is completely Apple – Laptop, Tablet, Phone, Watch, and Earphones.
📇 Web Presence
I’ve had a few little website related projects this year, including a couple revisions of a weekly newsletter, that sadly failed.
But the majority of 2017 was spent moving my overall presence towards my
There is the main website which contains basic information about me, what I’m up to, and a showcase of all my projects. I then have the
micro subdomains, for my full blog and relatively new Micro blog(If you want an invite, just let me know).
I have a few mini websites for small projects, and released apps, but they’re mainly single pages.
However, like other parts of my life, my online presence has become rather simplified.
👀 Expectations From Last Year
My only aim from last year was to make more stuff, and I can certainly say I fulfilled that!
Maybe I should be more descriptive with my goals.
📜 Plans for 2018
So here goes a much better and thought out plan for 2018:
I’m going to aim for a big reshuffle of my website again next year, which will include some consolidation of content, and a redesign.
In particular, I want to combine my homepage, blog, and micro blog, into at least 2 separate websites. So, either merge my homepage and my main blog, or have a separate homepage, and keep all my blog content in the one place. This decision will take some thought, and may even include other content from elsewhere.
On top of this reorganisation, I do plan on having a good look at switching my blog from the Ghost platform, to something like WordPress, that has better support for third-party apps, but also the simplicity and speed benefits you get from using Ghost.
This also means, that I may as well start a redesign. Because I’d have to convert my blog theme anyway, so I may as well improve it while I’m doing that.
This will most likely be started this year, but it will take a while.
Since tinkering with the idea of a newsletter, I want to find that extra thing I can add to the website. Just so I can have a regular piece of content, to maybe attract regular readers.
After doing a big number of random projects this year, I want to focus down with Swift next year. So the most important thing will be the quality of code, and getting better at that, and also making more complex projects and applications.
I’m still a big fan of travelling, and I want to do loads next year. But I think the way to do this is by going for a lot of small trips, to loads of different locations.
I already have a head start on this, as I’m going to Berlin in January, and Copenhagen in February.
It’s the time of year right now, where you should ideally decide on a New Years resolution. But it’s also a good idea to work out if there are any streaks you want to try to achieve. For example a “365 Photo” challenge, where you take a photo every day for a year.
So I think I would like to try to at least write something once a day, and I’d like to attempt the photo streak.