2014 year in review

I've noticed a number of people putting out yearly reviews and thought I would do the same myself, this year has been a big one for me and going forward into 2015 I have made some changes.

A steady start

I started the year as a freelance web developer, a role I had carried out for 3 years full-time and had some pretty nice income with. I started the year off with some runway to build my own product (which inevitably tanked, but it was a good experience). I also carried out some PHP development work for Siftware, a small development studio run by Darren Beale who I know through Shropgeek.

Working with a team

I ultimately missed working in a team and so I accepted a job with Zengenti working as a Technical Writer and their Community Manager. I helped them rewrite all of their technical documentation for their Content Management System, Contensis, as well as pulling their community together and speaking at 4 of their client events throughout the year.

I really enjoyed being a part of their team, I worked on some good projects and enjoyed spending all of my time doing something different to development work. Unfortunately I no longer work at Zengenti, but I'll get to that shortly.


I am currently stationed in Thailand, I have been here for 3.5 weeks and have just over a week left here before heading home to my new job. I came here for my Dads birthday and am staying here for new year and to relax a bit before jumping back into development work!


It is with great pleasure I can "officially" announce that I accepted a job to work with Darren over at Siftware, and will be spending my time in their office in Shrewsbury working on PHP projects again!! I am really excited as I now get to work in Shrewsbury in my preferred job role, and am looking forward to the challenges the new role will undoubtedly provide me.

This years goals

I'm going to keep this short and sweet, with bullet points.

  • Write a book on Laravel development, in the same vein as my first book, CodeIgniter 1.7 Professional Development This means dealing with VAT but I want to do something on the side that will actually make me some extra pennies
  • Apply to become a Special Constable with West Mercia Police. This is something I applied to do last year but was unable to due to an inane reason to do with someone else's criminal record (I've never even had a parking ticket) so this year I will apply again as my circumstances have changed.
  • Failing that my intention would be to obtain my SIA Door Supervisors license so I can progress higher up in my role as a Steward at Shrewsbury Town Football club.
  • Save 40% of my take home pay. When freelancing I saved up a buffer, I did this whilst at Zengenti also but I am now spending it in Thailand, ensuring I save 40% means I live well below my means and will be able to buy myself nice things!
  • Pick up French and German again. I took both languages at GCSE in school and have been able to hold conversations in both languages on my Thailand holiday but am nowhere near the ability I used to be, so I intend to pick up both languages again. I might even take two short trips to France and/or Germany and challenge myself not to use any English at all.

So, there you have it, my short and sweet year in review for 2014. It's been about 2 years since I did my last year in review and it will be my intention to keep doing these for as long as possible.