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Hello 2015

Hi all and welcome 2015! Happy New year one and all.
As is traditional this post is a personal review of 2014 and my thoughts on 2015.

2014 for me has been a good but tough year. I was unable to travel as much as I would have liked as I have a $dayjob at the moment that requires my full attention and attendance. That said I did manage to attend a dozen or so competitions including the World Championships in Russia and European Championships in Montpellier. Not to forget getting to Korea for the first time.

Judo topics I have covered in my Judo blog, so I shall not dwell on it here. Here I shall stick to more technical and personal matters.

This year I have again spent a majority of my time writing software. Specifically Perl software for a UK commercial web business. This year I became the "social guy". I spent a good amount of time working on our emailing system and our Facebook and Twitter integrations.
Working with Perl remains an enjoyable activity for me. It is flexible and has a maturity and stability I like. CPAN remains a key benefit (just as NPM is to node developers). To this end I finally contributed a package to the CPAN as part of the 2014 CPAN day.

This was a good experience and has lead me to join the 2105 CPAN pull request challenge. This is an idea being driven by NeilB that assigns a CPAN module to you once a month with the idea being you submit a pull request to the authors. In the opening month I have been allocated HTML::Form which will be a challenge as Gisle is one of the faces you see on CPAN alot.

In 2014 I continued to explore technologies I know less well. Specifically I spent some time getting more familiar with Dancer and Dancer2. I also played some more with Javascript both server side and client side. I have a app on GitHub that is pure client side Javascript and Bootstrap. Pretty interesting, the non-blocking is still a challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

In terms of Agile, SCRUM and so forth it has been a challenging year. I work with two technical teams and both have their challenges. I really enjoy it when we actually apply agile methods. But I guess the thing I have learned this year is that good processes are like good health, it takes good habits, commitment and constantly trying to undo the natural tendency for things to go bad.

In 2014 my weight has climbed badly, 10kg heavier than a year ago. ๐Ÿ™ I am unfit, fat and need to get myself sorted out! I have really started to feel the negatives in terms of general demeanor and physical capability. I just don't feel like me anymore. My mood this year I think has been pretty dire too. The two are related.

So I shall be one of the new years resolution crowd making an effort to get slim again. We shall see. I'll also be really trying to make sure that the Agile stuff takes a more prominent position in what I do.

This time of year is not my preferred time of year. Especially now I live in England where the weather at Christmas and New Years is to be honest horrible! I really struggle to feel it when it is grey and miserable out. I also hate the stress this time of year generates, so many people stressed it really makes me a grinch.

In 2015, I hope to achieve a few things. I have an obvious kilograms issue to deal with. This will take all year to achieve in a sensible way.

I want to complete and publish the research I have been doing on options for a national competition structure for Judo in the UK. This fits in with my work is sports business and my coaching and so forth. This should get done by the end of January, and I'll self-publish, so a short term goal.

I want to expand my PlanetJudo site to cover at least one more language (German I think). I also want to give the site a refresh and expand it moving my Judo podcast from there and incorporating a vidcast too (stay tuned). I have some people who want to help with this.

I want to grow my SportSouthampton project. My plan is to continue to expand the reporting side for the first half of the year and then start the services side.

Lastly I want bring back from the grave my VWJL.NET project. This was and will again be an online simulatiopn of Judo. Both a game and a experimental environment. I want it to be a fun entertainment for the players but also a simulation that can be used to test if certain ideas (leagues for example) work. I have the old code (and somewhere probably the original code) so I have a starting point.
I'm yet to decide on technologies fully. I have been exploring Mojo, Dancer2 (both perl) and well as Express on the node side. I want to look at a couple of other server side option before deciding. PHP is in the mix of course as so many people can help if in PHP, but Perl is my most comfortable tool. But I'd like to consider newer languages like Node and Go etc before deciding.

Client side, it will be HTML5 and Javascript I think.

2014 was an exhausting year for me, by the end I felt utterly drained. 2015 is looking just as tough if not tougher. I need to work hard this year at consistency and at balance. I need to continue to explore how I can simplify, improve and so forth.

It will be a great year, of that I am sure. I don't know what it will hold, but I look forward to finding out!

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