My 2016

I can’t believe this is my fifth year in review post! I have to admit when I first wrote one at the end of 2012 it felt a bit self indulgent, but fast forward to the end of 2016 and it’s great to be able to look back at what’s happened in each year, and how things have changed. Writing one is also a great chance to take a moment to reflect on the year I’ve had.

Delicious Brains

It’s been another great year working with Brad and the ever growing Delicious Brains team. Gilbert and I have pretty much been solidly working on our database merging solution, Mergebot, which has recently gone into public beta. I’m particularly proud of the plugin code that has had numerous refactors but now in a well organised and testable state.

We’ve continued to blog weekly which has been great to have a writing outlet (I’ve barely written anywhere else). This year I’ve written 9 posts.

The annual company retreat was held in Vienna around WordCamp Europe. Vienna was beautiful and hot, and it was great to meet up with the team. The guys in the UK (and Brad) met up in November in Edinburgh for some extra face time and some whisky tasting!

Pole Vault Web

It’s also been a busy year for my own projects. Unfortunately I had hoped to fit in a redesign of Michelle’s free teaching resources website, as well as implementing plans to monetise it. However, a couple of unforeseen pieces of work sucked most of my time.

Halfway through the year Instagram changed the terms of their API which affected my WordPress plugins (free and pro). This meant I had to put in lots of work to make them compliant and keep them alive. I wrote about the experience here.

I’ve been working on addons for Ninja Forms ever since meeting Kevin at WordCamp London 2012. This year they launched a massive rewrite of the core plugin that meant a lot of updates to the addons. I performed the whole rewrite of the popular File Uploads addon, moving to using a jQuery plugin for the uploader. It was a tonne of work, but great to do some more work for the NF guys, and get to know Kyle and Kenny.

Whilst at WordCamp Europe I had a conversation about the WordPress community, specifically about the little I do for it (except the odd core contribution patch). I decided to revisit my local WordPress meetup in Bournemouth which I attended a couple of pub meetups at the start of the year. After finding the organiser hadn’t done one for a couple of months, I offered to host a meetup and now I’m a co-organiser! The meetup has since moved from the pub to a coworking venue in town, with a couple of sponsors who provide pizza and drinks, we regularly have a speaker or two, as well as a growing attendance. I’m proud of how it has grown and look forward to seeing it continue to grow in 2017.

I also started regularly attending my local PHP user group PHP Dorset, where I’ve learnt lots, met some great people, and been inspired and encouraged to speak. I wrote about my giving my first talk here.


Looking back at the goals I set for the year it’s easy to be disappointed at what I haven’t done. However, the thing with goals are they change constantly throughout the year and overall I’m happy at what I’ve achieved.

I didn’t run any park runs which I’m disappointed with. However, Saturday mornings are generally spent with my son, giving my wife a much needed lie in, which is more important. I’ve been going to the gym three times a week on and off for the last six months, so I’m happy with my fitness at the moment.

The Paleo diet didn’t happen. I started the year well trying to disconnect more but that lapsed quickly and is something I need to work on more. Intagrate will get a new major release this year coming, and Harriet and Violet will have my renewed focus.

On the positive side of things, I completed the Wild Moors and Tors Challenge on Dartmoor, for Marie Curie. I completed it with my brother, in memory of his father-in-law David Andrews. Together we raised over £1,400. We were so lucky to have a dry day, it was a good challenge and enjoyable doing it together.

I managed to play 20 rounds of golf and visit the driving range quite often. I feel like my swing is more consistent but still plenty to work on, as I’m still yet to break 100 on a round!

As usual I’ve set some goals for 2017, hopefully I’ll complete more this time. I’m looking forward to what the new year brings professionally and personally for Michelle, Rex and I. Here’s to 2017!

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