Each year I highlight what has been happening in my small dev life and another year is coming to an end, so here we go.

1. Github (and git) changed everything

At the beginning of the year I moved the jQuery validationEngine plugin to github and started to learn git. First thing first, I love git. It is so refreshing to use it after 2 years of wanting to kill svn. Thanks to Github I also learned more commands than i knew with svn.

Github also supercharged the validationEngine plugin development. I have got a lot of contributions and can’t thank you enough guys for submitting pull requests. Special mention to @orefalo that really took the early development of 2.0 in his hand and made the code more professionnal.

I unfortunately have less and less time for developing the plugin, after 3 years of maintaining it, my resteless captivation for form validation have greatly diminish, but don’t worry, I don’t plan to stop supporting it.

The validationEngine plugin still got strong support

Obviously the official plugin take much of the market. But there is something really satisfying of not having to play around to place the error prompts, and I know for a fact that’s why so much people are turning to my plugin.

This year approximately 50 000 peoples downloaded the plugin, overall it got downloaded 200 000 times since it was launched. Not bad!

Did my biggest Javascript project yet

This year we launched a new email editor at Cakemail, much like the one that campaign monitor and mailchimp got. We do not have the man power that those 2 companies got but I am really proud of what we did. For my part, it’s 2 months of javascript development + debugging with iframes and IE.

My last big JS project was for Workopolis. Unfortunately the time constraint was a bitch, I don’t think I can speak of this project yet, but in 1 year or 2 it will probably go offline and I will, I learned a lot from this.. :P. It was a 7 months project nightmare and I will probably be going to hell for the code in there.

Launching a project part time is more than hard, it’s near impossible for some people

I don’t want to say for people that got a life, because that’s an idiotic statement and people saying that probably just got no career ambitions (or do not take the steps to achieve those) and would not understand anyway why we do this.

But when you got a house (that needs renovating), a girlfriend, still got 1 or 2 friends, you need to chose between trying to start a company and doing other things. Fortunately I got a very understanding girlfriend and I am really near of launching something, but obviously I had to cut some stuff out.

Kind of funny how 4 years ago I was really not into coding and was just waiting 5 o’clock to go cardio training.

Don’t scale a project before it need to (specially if you are doing it part time)

I’m not in Y Combinator, and would probably never be accepted in there, and I also don’t push 60 hours of code each day. This mean that I need to cut corners somewhere. I cut unit tests, procedures, validation (to some extends), frameworks complexity and more..

In my first personal project I used Symfony 1.4. I wanted a framework that can scale team wise. That was probably the stupidest decision I did. For once Symfony 1.x is dead now, that does not help….but, you pay a price when you use code generators, big orms, big caching systems and etc. You don’t really understand the fuck is going on, and when you hit a framework bug, you just want to throw your computer on the wall, and since you don’t have much time, it is really slowing you down.

Now I stay near stuff I know best, the front-end stuff. I also use a really small footprint framework on the back-end that does not change often its api, CodeIgniter. I try to get frameworks out of my way as much as possible.

This way I got as much chances as possible to launch something the faster I can.

People don’t want to get involved in other people stuff

This year I started backbonefu.com. I have come to love backbone.js and was feeling that the web was missing helping guides for it. In my ideas of grander I thought this could be a big community website, but I hitted a wall, the same wall I got with this blog in the past. 2 years ago I redesigned this website to become more news oriented and tried to get people involved in it.

Thing is, people don’t want to be involved in others shit. They want to do their own shit (which is understandable). And so I am still the sole author on backbonefu :P. Still, I like the site and will continue to post about my trials and errors with the framework.

The conclusion

After more than 5 years as a professional, I am still a front-end developer. I do not lead a team and I am really not sure if I would be good at that. I still have fun at what I do but wonders what will happen to me and my “career” in 10-15 years (like every year :P).

One thought on “Another year is ending..

  1. I really appreciate your work it’s inspiring to watch people create and share usefull code. I also think that frameworks accelerate your development time as long they work as you expect. Merry Xmas and Happy new year Cedric!

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