Nicolas Alpi, Web developer

A blog about productivity, startups and me.

My Twelve Months Review

As always, the 1st week of a new year is a good time to take on personal and professional review. I had a complete disconnection time during 2 weeks, back in France, enjoying family and friends. Now it is time to take serious action to make 2011 my best year ever.

2010 Review

2010 as been a remarkably good year. Intensive, with a lot of work, a wide board of projects, including freelancing for 2 differents startups and managing a complete project from A to Z. On the personal side, it has been great as well, I found a way to manage properly professional and personal life to, and I can fell the benefits on my couple.

On the downside, even if I’ve got no problems being productive for my clients, I struggled to stop working and start creating for myself. Luckily, working for OAHU helped me to discover some new technologies that I wanted to play with, minimasing some of the technical debt accumulating when you don’t take the time to produce for myself.

On the networking side of things, I meet some interesting people, but I completely neglected this blog (see as above, be productive for myself). I struggled finding time, or idea for articles.

I’ll soon expand those subjects, on a separate post, as I went to a very strong introspection during the last 3 month of 2010.

What do I want for 2011?

On the personal side of things, I’m going to get married in May this year. We are also going to rent a house with a buying option in the next years. As you can imagine, after the wedding will certainly come a new addition to the family. So this year might be the last year I can try different things and afford to get it wrong, afterwards if going to be a bit trickier as the responsibilities grow.

So this year, I’m going to be over productive, but to achieve something I need goals:

Develop and promote at least 1 personnal project. Last year I created in 24 hours, with the help of Theo. Unfortunately we never get our hands on make it evolve, and it stays as it for the moment. This year challenge will be creating a side business from a personal project. It is planned to happen on February.

Promote myself, even if I do not struggle to find work for the moment, tend do not promote myself properly, probably due to the fact that I did not know where to market me. Am I a Ruby/Rails developer? or am I a Freelance website developer? a Freelance web application developer? should I take on complete projects or look to integrate a team? … Hard to market yourself when you can’t even answer to those simple questions.

Organising a workshop/conference. Last year, with Jamie and Steve, we created the Bristol Ruby User Group (#brug). The group meet every month, and we organize talk and geek chat around food and beers. This year, we’ve got some interesting goals for the #brug, but organising a proper event is something I always wanted to do. And why not this year! Thankfully I’ll be helped by some friends and Nathalie on this adventure.

Improve my business skills. I like business side of things when you are freelancing. I like looking for new opportunities, I like closing deals, I truly like a lot of the business side of things. I’ll do my best to improve that a lot this year.

Regain this blog, this one, I said it at numerous occasions. Again, instead of letting the flow go, and use this blog as a personal blog, I felt into the trap of “I need to write a blog post to attract an audience”. But you never find something good enough and then another excuse later, your blog is a dead space on then web. So I took it that way. I’m running a web development business, everyday I solve coding problems, I read a lot, I experience a lot, so let just share it, is it not what a blog is for at the beginning?

Happy new year

So, Happy New Year to everyone, I hope you will work your way so 2011 will give you everything you wanted. As for me it is pretty clear that this is going to be an interesting and crazy year, certainly the best year ever!