Seriously. Anyone seen it? That year went by way too quickly for my liking. I'm also now 30 years old which I'm not exactly delighted about. It doesn't help that I still feel about 21. I'll always look back on 2015 with fondness as that's now the year in which my web development career began. But now the Christmas decorations have returned to the loft, the new year hangover has disappeared and at least a tonne of food has been consumed (except for the mountain of chocolate still remaining), it's time to look ahead to an exciting 2016.
I say exciting - while that's true, it's also pretty daunting. As a relative beginner to this game, I have a huge amount still to learn. I'm still waiting for someone to release a Matrix-style device that I can plug into my ear and download information straight into my brain, but so far I've been disappointed. Looks like I'll just have to do it the hard way! So what's on my list for this year then?
Blogging and social media
A nice easy one to start with. I've just got this spanking new website, time to do something with it! You lucky people will be getting regular updates to the blog - hopefully every week, if not fortnightly. I'll also be spamming social media more often just to let you all know I'm still alive. Of course, this is all very simple stuff but the hardest bit for me will be remembering to do it! I'm sure once I get into the routine it'll become second nature. I'm not naturally one to be regularly posting updates on social media so I'll need to get into that habit.
PHP is a very popular programming language and all the while I was initially looking for a job, even the junior positions would often list this technology as a required skill (alongside the basic web development necessities I've discussed previously). It can be used both on the server-side, or alongside HTML in the browser to make a webpage dynamic. For example it can make a decision and then display one thing or another on screen. I've already used it for some elements of the blog on this website, but it was very much learn as you go and cobble it together. Definitely one to revisit and learn properly from scratch.
Gulp is a "build tool" which is used for running the tasks that you have to go through to build a website. You might think that once you've written the code for your website then that's it - job done. There's actually a little more to it than that. Some of the code you have used across multiple files can be combined, and minified (shrunk) in order to make the final file size as small as possible. Every byte saved is valuable as it will speed up your website for your users. Smaller file sizes = faster page load speeds = happier visitors. Similarly, images can be optimised, and a whole host of other things can be done before you make your website live. Gulp is meant to take the hassle out of doing this, allowing you to automate the whole process. And we all like things that make life easier for us, right?
MVC Frameworks (AngularJS, React, Backbone.js etc)
I'd love to be able to give you a brief introduction to MVC (Model View Controller), but I literally haven't got a clue. All I know is, it's everywhere. And people are using MVC frameworks to build their projects, so I need to know about it. I've read about it, of course - but it's tricky to get your head around. Moving on!
No, that's not an insult. Git is a method of version control for your code. I have used it before but I quickly fell out of the habit of doing so. I need to refresh my memory and get back into using it. It's useful because you can retrieve older versions of your code with ease, and you have a reliable backup of your work online. The added bonus is, if you make your projects public it serves as a portfolio of your work which is useful for potential employers to see examples of your code.
That'll do for now! Plenty to be getting on with. What do you plan to learn this year? Any grand schemes being implemented? Let me know in the comments below!