Looking back on this year, it has been the most varied in my working life.
Making the move from contracting to pure freelancing early in the year I worked on some interesting smaller-scale projects before getting the chance to work for the guys at http://www.midpoints.de and in particular Rene Winkelmeyer who turned out to be a truly awesome person to work with (well I knew he was awesome, but he turned out to be awesome’r). The midpoints work was really interesting and I recommend that you go and look at their new products.
The mid point work was the largest single chunk of work this year with the rest of the time filled with tons of individual projects for well over a dozen clients. none of which was either boring or unchallenging (lucky man that I am)
The skill set used this year has taxed my tiny tiny mind, from core java upgrades (1.3 to 1.8) through lots of infrastructure work with Node, Jboss, apache, and IBM connections past a wide variety of database stuff for DB2, MYSQL and MongoDB to lots of serious front end stuff with Vaadin and Domino… all in all…I say…bring it on!!
This year has had 2 challenges for me as a freelancer, the first and obvious one is to manage and maintain a steady flow of projects, its harder than it looks and I am lucky to know people like Matt White and Mike Smith to provide advice and tips, the second is Working primarily from home has been a new experience and not one I am used to. But it’s helped me focus and I’ve worked out some great tools and methods to help me:
- The use of https://slack.com/ enabling me to chat to the rest of LDC and The Turtles but not get bogged down with the general flood of the internet.
- The use of the http://pomodorotechnique.com/ that keeps me on course during the day and ensures I do a solid days work
- Office rental, I use a mixture of Regus Lounges and a desk I rent at http://www.hybrideye.co.uk/ to actually ensure I see some humans once in a while.
Through all of this has run LDC and our first product LDCVia, something I am really excited about as having helped build it I can see the massive potential for what it can do also building a product with spanking new technology has taught me tons of new stuff and given me a chance to activity work again with some of my favourite people: Matt White, Julian Woodward and that evil bugger Ben Poole
Finally we come to being an IBM champion, a groovy thing but basically a product of other peoples work and support, particularly Gabriella Davis, who prodded me up on stage for LotusIdol years ago, hired me to do IBM Connections development when it was just starting out and generally has provided me was a metric sh*t load of support through both this and previous years, she does not get half the credit she deserves.
By the way, I have spare capacity opening up from the second week in Feb 2015, so if you have Java/Scala work, Connections customisations, complex website stuff or even some good solid Domino stuff, give me a kick.
Thinking of an image that sums up 2014 for me would be one of my bl**dy cat who because I have been working from home this year is the creature I’ve seen most of. and as you can see he provides tons of support (the lazy swine)