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Thu, 01 Jan 2015

Looking back at 2014

I have a tendency to forget what I've been up to - so I made a list for 2014.

I started the year having recently watched many 30c3 videos online - these were fantastic, and I really should get round to the ones from 31c3. January is traditionally the peak time for the recruitment industry, so at work we were kept busy dealing with all the traffic. We'd recently switched the main job search to use Solr rather than MySQL, which helped - but we did spend a lot of time during the early months of the year converting tables from MyISAM to InnoDB.

At the start of February was FOSDEM, and Kate and I took Sophie (then aged 10 months) to her first software conference. I grabbed a spot in the Go devroom for the Sunday afternoon, which was awesome. Downside: we got horribly ill while in Brussels.

At work I was sorting out configuration management - this led to some Perl module backporting for Debian, and I uploaded Zookeeper at some point during the year as well. We currently make use of vagrant, chef and a combination of Debian packages and cpanm for Perl modules, but I have big plans to improve on that this year.

Over a break from work I hacked up apt-transport-tor, which lets you install Debian packages over the Tor network. (This was inspired by videos from 30c3 and/or LibrePlanet, I think?) Continuing the general theme of paranoia, I attended the Don't Spy On Us campaign's day of action in June.

Over the summer at work I was experimenting with Statsd and Graphite for monitoring. I also wrote Toggle, a Perl module for feature flags. In July I attended a London.pm meeting for the first time, and heard Thomas Klausner talk about OX - this nudged me into various talks at LPW (see below). Pubs have a lot to answer for.

At some point I got an IPv6 tunnel working at home (although my ISP-provided router's wireless doesn't forward it), and I had an XBMC install going on a Raspberry Pi as another fun hack.

In August and September I worked on packaging pump.io for Debian, and attended IndieWebCamp Brighton, where I delivered a talk/workshop on setting up TLS. (This all ties in to the paranoia theme.) I stalled the work on pump.io, partly because of licensing issues at build-dependency time (if you want to run all the tests) - but I expect I'll pick this up in 2015 once jessie is released.

November was the London Perl Workshop, where I presented my work from the summer on statsd/graphite and Toggle, and a Bread::Board lightning talk. LPW was more enjoyable for me this year than previous years, probably because of the interesting people discussing various aspects of how feature flags ought to work. Simultaneously was the Cambridge MiniDebConf (why do these always clash?) where I think I fixed at least one RC bug.

This is not an exhaustive list of everything I've done this year - there are more changes now lined up for 2015 which I haven't shared yet. But looking back, I'm pleased that the many small experiments I get up to do add up to something over time, and I can see that I'm achieving something. Here's to another year!

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 21:38 | Tags:

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