2016, A look ahead.

20 Jan 2016 // Life

2015 was a literal game changer and 2016 has all the ingredients to be another awesome year, here is a glimpse of what is upcoming in the next ~8310 hours.

Wait, what just happened?
2015 was a whirlwind of a year for me, full of change and open opportunities. I started the year spending my remaining time at C&W working on a project with the Daily Telegraph. In March I officially parted ways with C&W which was exciting and emotional in equal measure. We promptly moved all our possessions into storage and set out on a 12 week trip taking in Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and culminating in a 4 week stay in LA (my wife’s home town) in time for DrupalCon. 

On our return there was barely time to unpack before starting a stint of consulting work with Which? magazine and then getting laser eye surgery. Shortly after recovery, I started a project with Earthport, a fast growing fintech company. That finished up at the end of year and I finally had time to catch my breath over the holidays.

Time for some me time
One of the main reasons for leaving C&W was to pursue new business ventures. As any good engineer should, I take a fairly defensive approach towards the unknown. Now that I have some cash in the bank from consulting work, I have a few months of runway to get an MVP built and see what traction I can get.

My main endeavour for Q1 will be building and launching Twivel. In a later blog post I will go into a bit more detail about the hypothesis and the itch behind the idea. Starting a product and business from scratch is an absolute joy but also somewhat dizzying. The sheer amount options and todos are like one giant blank canvas which can easily cause a kind of FOMO paralysis.

Having said that, I am 2.5 weeks into prototype dev and probably 4 weeks away from a prototype launch and I am pretty sure what I need to do during that time. All I need to do now is crank.

Getting off the island
One of my post-C&W goals is to become more of a “tech guy” and less of a “drupal guy”. I think all developers know the paradox of wanting to learn technology but their clients / career / bank account require that they get better at their niche.

I am super excited to use the time I have now to focus on getting familiar with new technologies.

I am super excited to use the time I have now to focus on getting familiar with new technologies. I started in 2015, building my personal site on Angular and Drupal 8. The Twivel platform is built with Ruby on Rails and the Twivel corporate site is built on Jekyll. As Twivel develops I hope to get my hands dirty with plenty of AWS configuration, a bit of React and various HTML 5 / JS video things.

My first few weeks with RoR have been a bit of rollercoaster ride, from “WTF how hard can autocomplete tagging be?” to “Ah… so this is what I’ve been missing” and everything in between. I have a blog post in the oven about this topic, watch this space!

More consulting
Although I will be spending Q1 on Twivel, I certainly plan on continuing with consulting work in 2016. I get a massive kick out of planning, building and delivering products that add values to an organisation. Drupal is a tremendous platform for the right use-cases and when paired with an experienced team and pragmatic organisation the results can be spectacular.

Quick plug: if your organisation needs any consultancy around planning, delivery and development of Drupal products, reach out, I would love to get involved.

Geographic uncertainty
After 12 years in London I’m finally getting tired of it. Well, not so much tired of London as tired of the impossibility of living like an adult, owning a home (or rather not being shafted with extortionate rent and shamefully poor tenant rights) and a city more concerned with building “luxury apartments” for foreign investors than liveability for residents.

Well, not so much tired of London as tired of the impossibility of living like an adult

The problem is finding a viable alternative. My wife and I have wonderful friends and growing professional networks in London, we would be loath to move away from that. On the other hand in Bristol or Manchester we could have have mortgage for under £500 per month giving us the freedom to travel, create and ultimately take more risk with life.

Our other consideration is Los Angeles. The housing situation is almost as bad as London except with guns and Trump. However the weather is incomparably better, the food is delicious and I find the faux-joviality of people to be genuinely uplifting.

Right now there are a lot of variables in this decision, so we will wait and see how things pan out over the coming months.

Onwards
So that is how my 2016 is shaping up, I hope I can combine all the above with large dollops of adventure, fun and growth.


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