steve hitchman

developer, design tinkerer, entrepreneur, father, avid geocacher and gamer.

A year in review and things to come

Posted: 31/12/2016

A look back at another year gone and the adventures to follow.

With another year down in the books and some rare off time to reflect on everything that‘s happened, I have to say a tremendous amount has taken place over this past year, at least for myself. I've worked on countless projects, dived into new business ventures, made mistakes and learned from them. I’ve also gained a new perspective on the future, well I like to think so.

This has been my first full year as a freelance web developer and what a roller coaster journey it has been, I've had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects with a bunch of amazing people along the way, and it‘s been an absolute pleasure to do so. I have recently been focusing my efforts on planning and management, which ultimately brought a new venture of becoming a director for an already established web development company. This is still very fresh to me so I have little to comment on this for the moment but I‘m sure there will be more in the way of insights to come over the next few months.

If you love life, don‘t waste time. For time is what life is made of. – Bruce Lee

It‘s been a very busy year and these past few weeks have been a well received piece of Christmas down time and reflection. The two biggest lessons for me have been that it‘s ok to say no, and to work smarter not harder. Both of these are points I‘ve seen brought up time and time again in the development community, especially that of a freelancer, but I don‘t believe this had sunk in until I had the time to review the things I‘d done and had been doing.

So what does this mean for me? Well the new year will see a stronger focus on my family, personal projects and myself. I’ll even begin to document all the adventures as they come.

What tech have I been using?

Laravel & Lumen

I have been working heavily with both the Laravel and Lumen frameworks throughout this year and they are both extremely powerful, flexible whilst also a beauty to develop with. Next year will see conscious increase in use of both frameworks throughout my development process.

Javascript (Vue JS & React JS)

Previously, I had been very focused on using jQuery whenever it came to Javascript development, but in the past year I‘ve taken a step back from this to get stuck in with some of the latest and greatest including more vanilla Javascript. Browser adoption for features is considerably better now which has led to a tendency to go for Vue JS on small scale projects and React JS for larger projects.


  • I finally jumped on to the SASS boat and it‘s very refreshing for larger projects
  • Automated and improved workflow through Gulp
  • App development via React and Java (Android)

What did I work on?

A large array of projects have kept me busy throughout this year but I can‘t really go into details on any of them at this moment in time, but because of this the past year has left very little time for side projects. The majority of those have generally been small and unfinished, 2017 is going to bring a new focus on getting some of these projects finished and out in the wild!

There were two notable side projects for me in 2016 that did end up in the wild that I am very proud of. I got involved with the new “The Design Jones” site and helped bring the design to life along with developing some cool side features. The big feature was that the site will allow you to continue browsing whilst listening to the latest podcast. The other project was assisting my partner in getting an e-commerce website (Cupcake Chasm) up and running so she could easily sell her homemade wax melts.

What did I read?

Well not an awful lot this year actually, I do have a few books on my to read list but those listed below are all I managed this year.

The new year?

First up, this website, a new venture that I‘m going to be making a continuous effort with and start writing, documenting my thoughts, experimenting, showing projects and even stepping back to review some old code to see what I would perhaps do differently if I was to write it now.

It‘s going to be a interesting experience all round. One I hope others can benefit from as well as myself.

Happy new year!