Joshua Paling

At the start of this year, I wrote a post about my goals for the year.

How did I go? Here's a point-by-point breakdown.

In no particular order:

1. Have at least a few live Rails sites under my belt by 2015 ✔

I've made: One custom shop, that the client is taking a LONG time to populate. (Was done partly by me, partly by a contractor) One more bigger site that will be released early next year.

So, only 2 live, but 1 more completed, and one in the pipeline. I'm calling that a check.

2. Learn more about server admin, and have an automated solution for Rails hosting (probably learning Chef / Vagrant etc from Reliably Deploying Rails Web Apps) ✘

I've learned more, and did go through the book. But I'm not using an automated solution for server setup - more on that in the next point. (So this is a fail - though I'm happy with the outcome.)

3. Come up with a solution I'm happy with for hosting Rails apps that my business makes - probably AWS

I've decided that really, properly learning server admin is too much for me to take on. I've got enough on my plate keeping on top of the rest of the stack.

So, for small, straight-forward apps we're using Digital Ocean - one-click rails server setup, with minimal knowledge required.

For large, business-critical sites we're using Anchor. They're not cheap, but they're good. They know servers, so I don't have to.

It's not the solution I imagined, but I'm happy with it. Check.

4. Present something (that doesn't totally suck) at Roro Syd meetup

I presented at RORO, at DevHub, and at RailsCamp Perth. And I'm an accepted speaker for Ruby Conf Australia. While it's up to others to judge wether or not I sucked, I'm calling this one a big fat win.

5. Move from student to mentor at Dev Hub nights

I did this… it was pretty unofficial. I just started wearing the blue 'mentor' badge rather than the white 'student' one. I still take the opportunity to gain knowledge from seniors, but I'll also answer questions if they come my way. So I guess that's a half-hearted check for this goal?

6. Carry out the MicroCourses idea at a RailsCamp & Dev Hub ✘

Nope. Fail. I tried to get it going at DevHub, but basically, the idea sucked

7. Be involved as an organiser or mentor at some Rails community events (apart from Dev Hub) ✘

I mentored at Rails Girls - but that's it. Speaking to people who've organised events, it's a HUGE amount of work, and with my kids the age they are, I think I'll have to put this goal on the back burner for a few years.

Although I technically did mentor at one event, I'm calling this one a fail, because I'd aimed for more.

8. Write at least 6 blog posts on dev-related stuff ✔

Yeah, I did this. I'm not stoked on the quality. A lot of it is just unpolished stuff for my own reference. But that's a check.

9. Make at least two screencasts (as in, a Ruby / Rails related ones) ✘

Fail. I've done zero, but there's still a bit over a month left in this year, so I'm going to try get this done.

10. Make a nice responsive admin area theme for Rails, and, ideally, make generators so it can be built easily for each new app. (Or find existing solution to do this - possibly Rails Bricks) ✔

I'm just doing a basic theme with Bootstrap, and I'm happy with it. Nothing spectacular, but it works. I'm definitely confident with the decision not to use ActiveAdmin or Rails Bricks or similar.

I haven't made a generator, but I've added bootstrap support to Rails Admin Scaffold generator

I may go further with generating my own admin theme, but for now I'm happy with what I've got. Check.

11. Make a commit to an open source Ruby / Rails gem. ✔

Check. I made PR's to a few gems: Spree Slider - tidy admin interface Rails Admin Scaffold - add bootstrap option for views (It hasn't been merged yet…) Rails Footnotes - 4 PRs merged

12. Make a few responsive websites using a CSS grid system. (I've done responsive sites manually before, but grids seem much easier!) ✔

Yeah. I've made admin interfaces with them. Not sure if I've done it for a frontend? Anyway, they're a bit over-rated. Good for an admin area, but to get a frontend looking super nice on devices of all sizes, it takes more than just a grid. Grids help get the easy stuff done I guess.

I feel I'm satisfied, and know when to use them, and when not to. Check.

13. Score higher on the Joel Test, or at least the web dev version of it. (When I first found out about this test a couple of years ago, I was scoring embarrassingly low. I've moved up a decent amount, but there's still room to improve!) ✔

I know I've improved on some things, though I wish I'd recorded where I was at exactly in the beginning of the year. Check. But that's another blog post in itself.

9/13. Overall, I'm happy with that. Bring on next year!