Maybe this year doesn’t warrant a long retrospective like 2014, but I believe reflection is healthy. It’s been a year where I’ve felt professionally lost. The year has left me really thinking hard about my next steps and where I want to go with my career. It hasn’t answered any questions, though.
Mobile app developer job
This was my most structured decision of the year. Start-up life is incredible, but it’s exhausting and impossible to switch off. It also highlighted my many weaknesses, so I wanted to work somewhere that would help me grow. I joined Sparkol as a mobile app developer to work on their flagship product; VideoScribe. Rather than just coding away at bug fixes and new features, I was part of a small team tasked with creating a tablet version of this whiteboard animation software. During my few months there I realised that being a full-time developer is not the career path for me. I also got to mingle with the UX guys and help sculpt the product based on user journeys. This was exciting! It was the sort of planning I was always missing in my own projects. Leaving Sparkol was a decision based around my minimal desire to code and lack of experience to switch to another position. I decided to keep creating my own projects and pursue internships that would help me transition into the world of user experience.
My first social app
Following on from being a developer, I read a bunch of UX books and articles, did some research and decided to make Catsup. Yes I was coding again, but this gave me more opportunity to design journeys and iterate based on user patterns.
ISIS can suck an egg
I’ll keep this short and sweet so I can revisit it in a later blog post. On the third day of a wonderful holiday in Tunisia, some ISIS dickbag strolled down the beach at the end of our hotel and shot everyone. At first I actually thought it was just a lorry unloading or something… but no it was a gun. Nobody at home would believe me when I started sending pictures through Snapchat, but after an hour locked in the hotel, news broke on TV and my friends understood what I was showing them. It’s a story for another post.
Slipping into top secret #GameDev
Leaving games behind was the intention, but sitting at home learning UX through my own projects wasn’t paying the bills. To solve my personal poverty I had to pick up some freelance work. With a history in game development, it was in my best interest to freelance in the gaming world. This was also my first NDA-wrapped project so unfortunately I can’t say much more until it’s released. What a boring way to round off a retrospective!