I started off 2012 with my non-resolutions list, so it only seems fitting that I end by looking back on my year (with respect to work). 2012 was a very interesting year for me, with many developments that I expect will continue paying off in 2013. Financially, 2012 was better than 2011, although it was not my highest grossing year by any means. But the amount of money you make is only one measure of success.
I took four business trips in 2012:
- I presented “How to Succeed at E-commerce, or Fail Gracefully” at an e-commerce expo in Istanbul, Turkey (June)
- I presented “Introduction to the Yii Framework” at True North PHP outside of Toronto, Canada (November)
- I presented “How to Become a Web Developer” at Boston PHP in Cambridge, Massachusetts (December)
I used to travel occasionally for work, but then did not for several years, so it was good to get back on the road a bit.
I worked on three books in 2012, which is about my average:
- I did the third edition of my advanced PHP book, now titled “PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide” (published in September)
- I finally began writing and self-publishing “The Yii Book” (October)
When not writing or presenting, I did some consulting for clients and worked with a couple of existing clients on updates to previous projects, creation of new Web sites, and made plans for upcoming ones. I also created and/or rewrote some personal Web sites, which is how I got started doing Web development in the first place so many years ago. It’s always good to play around with some of your own ideas, even if that doesn’t pay the bills.
For my own work, in 2012, I changed the theme used by my main site (i.e., the WordPress theme). The new theme is built upon Twitter Bootstrap, which means that it uses HTML5 and is responsive. That switch alone managed to knock a couple of items off of my 2012 wish list. I then hired someone to create a matching theme for my forum. Sometimes the best thing you can do is have someone else do the work for you.
And, I finally began using social media. Realizing, after far too long, that there may be benefits to using social media, I took the plunge. And it turns out that social media is okay, not all about “hey, I’m having a sandwich now”. So I’m on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter, although I only regularly use Twitter.
Reading is always on my to-do list, and I was able to consume several work-related books in 2012. Ones I liked and would recommend include:
- 100 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People
- jQuery Mobile: Develop and Design
- Confessions of a Public Speaker
- Head First Mobile Web
- Pragmatic Programmer
- Technical Blogging
All in all, a good and full year. I even managed to switch to a standing desk back in August!
It turns out you can do a lot in a year when you get to decide what you do. In other words, when you don’t work a real job. Now if I can only do better about exercising…
How was your 2012?