Absence makes the heart grow fonder

20 May 2015


The last 18-20 months have been an absolute blast. I’ve been crazy busy, I’ve learnt a stack of new things, I’ve moved to another country and I have a heap of technical articles I want to write! So where do I begin? Let’s start with a recap.

Last year (thanks to my move to London) I was able to both go to and speak at Laracon EU, 2014. It was a fantastic event as they always are (Laracon is by far my favourite conference of the year), I picked up a stack of new things and exciting approaches and came away inspired as per normal. However, I also encountered some serious code blocks.

The blocks themselves didn’t come from code. They came from being a perfectionist. From wanting to do things to the best of my ability, and no less. The problem was that the goal posts were so far out of reach to be unattainable - there’s no such thing as a perfect project, a perfect architecture, or even a perfect class! For months I struggled with naming and architecture, costing me (and my company) far too much time in getting a project completed. After a while, I ended up simply just pushing forward and getting things done - sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t - but I was “Getting things done”. That in itself was a massive lesson.

I also contributed to (and still do) a number of projects, including:

I was also working on a project called Floatingpoint Software, with Mike Dugan. Unfortunately Mike passed away earlier this year, which caught me by surprise - in a number of ways. One, I never realised he suffered from a particular condition and two - I didn’t realise just how much of an effect he had on my day-to-day activities. We had never actually met, but we spoke on a daily basis for about 6 months while we dreamed up products and ideas of things we wanted to achieve - and we were on our way to doing those things. Waking up one morning to ping him, only to find out that he’d gone was a shock, and I went through the usual process - denial, grieving, then acceptance (and even smiles).

With work, our Awards platform has gained immense traction and we’ve just released our new version. You can find information about that at the Award Force website. Award Force has been the most challenging, stimulating - and rewarding project of my career. It’s also the first SaaS application I’ve built, which is far more complex than most, with a focus on i18n features and customisation.

I’ll leave it there with this final note - 2015 is already a huge year for me and my team, and 2016 is going to be even more exciting as we begin to dominate the global market at work, develop new open source software for the PHP community (more on that soon) and generally - continue to push foward and improve. At Tectonic, we have a saying that we constantly throw about. Well, it’s more of a word: Kaizen. It’s a japanese word that represents a business philosophy - that of continuous improvement, and never before has it been more suitable, or more applicable to what I do on a day-to-day basis.

Stay tuned for fresh articles coming soon, along with a stack of lessons learnt building our Award Force platform.

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