2012/2013

So it’s this time of year again. It really doesn’t feel like another year has been and gone, but as with last year it also feels like an awful lot has changed in the last 12 months.

So what happened in 2012?

As in 2011, 2012 brought another role change, this time to Head of Technology. The change was in more than responsibilities. My focus shifted throughout the year as the importance of consultancy and strategy grew within the business. As a result, early in the year, I moved upstairs to be back in the studio rather than downstairs with the sales team. A simple thing, but something that I feel is incredibly important. I’ve always felt strongly that if you’re part of a team, you need to be amongst it, not shut off. You need visibility of the day to day issues, and you need to be able to observe what happens naturally, not just what people report in about. Initially I was sat next to the Studio Manager, but with a shift in everyone’s desk I got put back on the fringes of the development team, adjacent to the strategy team.

I have talked about #teamstrategy before, but this change was to set the scene for the rest of my year. I ended up working with some truly inspirational people, both in work and in life, who have helped me to have an incredibly enjoyable year, as well as helping me figure out what I most enjoy doing, and what I’m good at. This culminated in a lunchtime bowl of ramen in September, when the decision was made that I needed to do something else in 2013.

Working from home half of the week has continued to be something which I’ve enjoyed, but it has also emphasised that I want to be surrounded by smart people who push me. Most days I dreaded the commute to the office, but what a lot of people didn’t realise was that barring the traffic jams, I loved being around people in person. Skype is wonderful, but it doesn’t beat being able to sit next to someone and talk through ideas with a sketch pad. This is a big challenge for me with the freelance work. As I’m not committing to it long term yet I’m not looking for a concrete base, so will likely be mainly on my own. I will likely be eager for meetings and human contact, so please get in touch if you’d like to meet up.

There have been some amazing projects that I’ve worked on this year. I’ll be putting a proper portfolio at some point, however notable work for me in 2012 included planning the redevelopment of fulhamfc.com, helping to plan and scope a responsive booking process for Eurotunnel (due to launch this year), a huge engagement and presentations to Nokia in California, plus many others. I’m proud of the speaking and writing I managed to do, and I’m looking to build on that in 2013.

Did I do what I wanted to?

Yes and no. I don’t do resolutions, because they’re for any point, not just new year. Instead I’ve got used to accepting that whilst you can set out things you hope for, you have to accept that things may change, and priorities may have to adapt. I like making lists, so I do that, but I don’t beat myself up if things don’t happen as expected.

One of the reasons that I have changed my job is because I wasn’t doing quite what I wanted to and I’m a big believer in things not changing unless you make them happen. That being said, I have done a lot of things that I am very proud of, and I’m very thankful to the team at Lightmaker for. In my 20112012 post I talked about a few things I was wanting to change, and I think I managed them all to an extent. There’s a lot of room for improvement though!

2012 will honestly be a year that I won’t forget for a lot of reasons, both personal and professional. I feel like I’m a slightly different person now, for better and worse, but definitely a lot stronger and a lot more confident in myself than this time last year.

Music

I spent a LOT of time this year in my car. Music played a very important part in keeping me vaguely sane.

My album of the year was Exister by Hot Water Music. I’m somewhat surpised as my last.fm stats back this up, which I didn’t expect. I listen to the majority of my music on my ipod which never syncs, so I don’t get any scrobbles from there and last.fm doesn’t entirely reflect what I really listen to. This album was on repeat in my car the entire summer, so I dread to think how many plays it has actually had. It’s probably not technically the best album I’ve bought this year in terms of skill and accomplishment, it’s not the best Hot Water Music album, but it’s so.damn.catchy that I have to pick it as my favourite. I can’t pick up a guitar any more without playing a few bars of Mainline or Exister, and I’ve gone for days with basslines whirling around in my head.

Twitter

For data lord Darren Ware here are some stats!

Number of tweets in 2012: 1,810

Low: 76 in September

High: 224 in June

Instagram

Top three images by likes:

Joint third:

Get to the point already. What do you want to do in 2013?

• Go skiing. It’s a poorly kept secret that I’m my happiest when I’m up a mountain, in the sun, in the middle of nowhere. I’m not the best technical skier and probably never will be, but I have been incredibly sad that Hemel Hempstead was the closest I came this year.

• Kind of an obvious one, but find a new job that is everything I’m after!

• I’ve just signed a contract to speak at a major conference (more about this soon…), and I’m looking to add more speaking and writing to this.

• Read more books, both industry-related and not. If you’ve got any recommendations please let me know.

• Work with good people who challenge me.

• Get back into ‘dabbling’ more, and being more hands on day to day. Have more time to play around with technology and come up with creative ideas.

• Finish some of my many half-finished or never started pet projects that are sat on Trello.

• Spend less time travelling, and more time doing. This is however somewhat dependent on the job goal…

• Get more involved in great community projects like Brackets.

• Keep taking more photographs, even if just on my phone. My friends and family will not be keen on this one, as I frequently run off shouting ‘Instagram!’ if I see something, but I want to get back to where I was documenting things properly.

And some other stuff, but I’m not about to share everything with you lot I’m afraid! Happy new year all. Hope this is a great year for everyone.

Photo via macieklew on Flickr