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2010: My Year in Review

January 01, 2011  /  Home

This was an amazing year for me professionally. I learnt and achieved much more than I’ve historically packed into a single year, so like many other I’ve decided to jump on the year in review bandwagon and put this post together.

Open Source

Prior to 2010 I’d certainly used open source quite heavily, in fact I’d based my entire career as a developer around it, focusing on Python, Django and Linux and the open source ecosystem surrounding this amazing platform. However as far as giving back to the community went, I had only ever contributed small bug fixes and enhancements to a handful of open source projects over the years, and had never been heavily involved in any single project. So in 2010 I dived in head first launching a range of open source projects. Firstly some smaller utilities such as django-forms-builder and gunicorn-console, and then the Django content management platform Mezzanine, along with its shopping cart plug-in, Cartridge.

The reception Mezzanine has received has been nothing short of amazing and well beyond anything I had anticipated. It’s been an incredibly rewarding learning experience, managing product development and working closely with its contributors towards growing its community. Here are a few statistics for the project only 6 months since it was launched:

Team Leadership

Shortly prior to 2010 I moved into the role of development team lead and 2010 provided me with a wealth of new experience in this regard. Being responsible for a development team producing rock solid work has always been an aspiration of mine and it was incredibly fulfilling to have that come to fruition. It’s been a fairly painless experience due to working with some of the best developers I’ve met in over a decade, and it’s been nothing short of amazing.

Tooling

I added a ton of new software tools to my arsenal, being largely responsible for building out our development and deployment processes. I spent a lot of time getting up to speed with some amazing software such as South, Fabric, NGINX and gunicorn. I’ve recently been putting together a development and deployment guide that covers combining all of these and other parts of our stack which I’ll also publish in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

Django Dash

This was the first year I decided to put my Django skills to the test by entering Django Dash - the 48 hour hackathon where teams of 3 build a Django project from scratch. Teaming up with Josh de Blank and Andrew Fisher, the final result saw us launch Rate My Flight which earned us 8th place out of 40 teams internationally. It was a ton of fun getting to interact with some of the wider Django community and I even picked up a few new Django tricks along the way.

So that was 2010 - what a blast! I can’t imagine what 2011 will bring if it involves as much change and initiative as the previous year has. Bring it on!

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