The end of another year. And an end to a decade where a lot has happened both for me and the world of the web.

I wanted to look back at the 10 years gone by as it’s been quite a defining time for me. I became a dad a second time, got divorced, seven jobs, moved house a couple of times but still never managed to learn Javascript.

I look back to 2010 when I think the web was a simpler time. Responsive wasn’t established, especially for me as I didn’t hear about it for another year or so. I never for once thought I’d end up building sites for phones and devices but here we are.

CSS has come a long way. We can now have rounded corners without images which for me at the time was massive and there is no need to worry about transparent PNGs. If you’ve never had an issue with transparent PNGs and IE 6. take a look at what we had to use back in the day.

It’s not just the building blocks of sites that have changed. We look after them more nowadays with performance being of utmost importance whereas maybe back then, we didn’t really care as much. Internet is quicker and let’s face it, there is a lot more competition these days.

But the industry has changed for the better I reckon.

I mentioned earlier about the 7 jobs. Reading that over, 7 jobs in 10 years seems excessive but I had a period in my career where I wasn’t settled maybe as I tried to find out what I really wanted to do after spending so long working with the London Marathon. I’ve tried out a few different roles now and feel better for knowing how different sections work but coming full circle back to design has been the best thing I could possibly do.

I also got to freelance for a bit. I always try to be honest about freelancing as so many big it up as almost the pinnacle but I honestly believe it’s not for everyone. That said, I did work with some great people in that time and was very fortunate to work with a ‘web hero’ of mine but i think for me, freelancing was just too stressful or at least the money side was. I’ll never see that £9k again.

I’ve had to change as a person, that’s for sure. To go from being married and having someone do a lot of the day to day to someone that has to do it all and also bring up two kids has been hard work but I did it. To watch them grow up has been a privilege and I couldn’t be prouder of them. The same goes for my nephew and nieces.

I feel like the last 10 years has set me up for a brighter future. I know what I want now and everyone around me seems to be ready to make their own decisions for their future too.

So here’s to the last 10 years. We had some fun, we shed some tears but we came out the other end in a better place.

I’ve enjoyed and hated a lot of 2019 at the same time. I don’t know whether it’s because I am older now but I am much more focused on what I want from life. I set out at the start of the year to move back into design and I end the year in that position albeit in a non conventional way. 

I’ve had to work at it, like really work at it. I was inspired very early on by work from others like Andy Clarke that have set me off on a path of discovery and along that way, I have enjoyed immensely the work I have been creating on my side projects. I feel like I have found my direction and know I need to keep the momentum with it. Ending the year, some of my work has been featured all over the internet by people much smarter and more talented than me. I know it might never happen again so I’ve tried to enjoy it as normally I would be playing it down. I have to be honest, its the same work that probably saved my career. That might sound dramatic but it’s probably true. I wasn’t enjoying Frontend so finding Grid and the love of print has given me ideas and a push to find my happiness which I’ve found. I am so happy to be able to do what I do for money, it’s unreal. 

And finally, I end the year in a good place. I had a wobble this year. I wasn’t coping but people came through. Anyone that has spoken to me about it helped. I may not have thanked you all personally but it did help a great deal. So thank you.

This year has really made me think about people in my life whether it be family, friends or colleagues. I finally realised I do have some very good friends. It just took me time to realise that as well as appreciating that. Andy, Sue, you have been my rock this year. You believed in me and what I was trying to achieve and gave me the advice and kick up the arse I needed. Same goes to Jake. In the 5 or 6 years I’ve known him, he’s never doubted me and we ride again in 2020. Paul, the poor bugger who has to listen to me moan 3 days a week on a train. We both had weird years but we start afresh and we’ll be better for it. Dylan, let’s not be strangers eh? Sush, lets meet up and do that podcast. You went above and beyond for someone you have never met. Nick, Tom, Pete and Ben, you said nice things about me this year and it meant the world. Zac, you bought me steak and massaged my ego.

And to end it, Kieran. You came in as a junior but you’ve grown into a half decent dev. Many won’t know this but as part of my role, I was tasked with helping to train Kieran up. It’s been an up and down ride at times but being able to play a role in someone’s development has been an eye opener but such a rewarding experience. His select box styling leaves a lot to be desired though. That border… Jesus.

I may have missed some names off but the post is droning on now…

Anyway that’s 2010 to 2019. It’s been a blast. See you in 2020.