2006 in review

31 December 2006

I feel like I’ve been neglecting Infovore a bit in recent weeks, and so thought I’d begin my return to form (as it were) with a semi-obligatory year-end post.

2006 has been really quite a year, on many levels. Certainly one of the most eventful so far. The most obvious change it brought has been a change of job: after two years of working for the New Statesman, I left for a change of scenery. I haven’t mentioned where I am specifically, up until now, but given that most people who know me know, I’m happy to say that I’m working at the Nature Publishing Group, known best for their flagship title Nature. I’m a front-end developer there, writing markup and front-end code to build interfaces and sites. It’s been a great experience so far; after an inital unsettled period I’ve slowly managed to find my feet and am enjoying it a lot. It’s also given me a chance to work, full-time, in Ruby on Rails, which has proved most enjoyable – and at times eye-opening.

It’s also been a year of travel. Between leaving one job and starting another, I went to the USA for the first time – to speak at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. That turned out to be fascinating, exciting, and terrifying in equal measure; I poured perhaps a little too much of myself into the talk, but was very pleased with the results and had a great time at the conference – both in terms of what I learned and the relationships I made and solidified. A shame not to be going again this year, but I’m glad to have been once.

I also travelled to Denmark for Reboot 8 in the summer, again to talk. Less terrifying, this time around, and perhaps my favourite work of the past year – lots of lateral thinking and answering of what-ifs in that talk. Do check it out if you haven’t already. A very different environment to ETech – creative, artistic, and holistic in its approach to technology; really wonderfuly to attend something truly European. As long as it’s on this year, I’m definitely going again.

There was also travel that didn’t so much resemble work. Alex and I went to Barcelona in the autumn for a wonderful holiday – lots of food, sun, reading, and art. A really lovely city, and an excellent holiday. Just the rest I needed, really. Lots of photos of it are up in my Flickr profile.

Life is slowly becoming more settled, really. I’m feeling more confident daily in my work, in my play, and in the city I live in; London is really beginning to feel a little like home. It’ll never truly be home, but it’s great to live somewhere with so many good friends, and so much to do with them.

And what does 2007 hold? No idea, really, though I’m beginning to have some thoughts. I’m seriously considering a fortnight’s holiday – I usually stick to just a week. And I think it could well end up being spent in San Francisco – another trip to the US, to a city full of friends (and, seemingly, more of them every day), and a summer in the sun.

2007 should also be a year of making. I’ve got at least one project to launch very early in the year, and several more on the go. And I mean “making” of everything: making more words, more music, more photographs, far more cooking – more stuff. I’m always wrestling to create, but I plan next year to really make stuff happen. I hope to share more of it here.

I’ve really loved 2006 – ups and downs, for sure, but so many opportunities, so many new friends, so many magic moments – from watching the sea roll in at Barcelona to being mesmerised in the cinema, from late nights talking with friends in far-off hotels to many happy memories in the kitchen.

I hope your 2006 was good; I hope your 2007 is even better. Do keep reading.

Links & notes for this month