2013 in review

2013 was a good year for me. I got a job at REDspace, a web development company in my area that does a lot of cool an interesting work (Also, they build games and mobile apps). I’ve been working on a lot of cool projects there. My current project has taught me a great deal about Puppet and Varnish. I had used Puppet before this, but I know it a lot better now. I hadn’t used Varnish before, but now I consider it an essential tool for most websites. I’m also using a CDN (CloudFlare) in front of all my sites.

I released version 4 of my WordPress plugin “WordPress Access Control“, after a year of not updating it. The new version uses some things I’ve learned since I originally built the plugin to be much more efficient and work with way more themes than the old version. That plugin is now up to ~80k downloads.

I got involved in Facebook’s HipHopVM project. I’ve sent in 7 pull requests (all got accepted) so far, and I plan to contribute a lot more. I’ve always wanted to get involved in core PHP development, but it’s too unfriendly. HipHopVM uses GitHub, so contributing is as easy as forking the project, committing some code, and sending in a PR.

I started to use Vagrant instead of manually creating my development virtual machines, and I now consider it an essential tool. Being able to programmatically create VMs, and send the config file to others so they can create identical environments is amazingly useful.

I learned Node.js, and built some cool projects with it such as NodeFTPd, a pure node.js FTP server implementation. I’ve learned quite a few related tools as well, such as Grunt and Yeoman.

Google messaged me out of the blue asking if I’d be interested in an interview. Of course I said yes, however, I didn’t get too far because of my lack of algorithm knowledge (which I expected to be problematic). I plan on correcting that this year with Coursera’s Algorithms class by Stanford University.

In 2014, I want to continue contributing to awesome open source projects, but I want to do more than last year. I want to learn algorithms and other computer science topics I would have learned in university, which I plan on doing using Coursera, Udacity, MIT OpenCourseWare, and other great online resources.

Here’s to a great 2014!

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