2016 – My Year in Review

So another year passes and it seems as usual to have passed by in the blink of an eye.

It’s nice to take some time to reflect on the year that’s passed before getting stuck in to the year ahead – as well as it now becoming somewhat of a tradition for me to write an yearly review post.

First off, I want to thank anyone who has taken the time to read and share anything that I’ve written on the site. I really do love writing and pushing my work out onto the web and it’s nice to know that people find what I have to say vaguely interesting while hopefully learning a little something from it along the way.


2016 was a year of continuity in my professional life.

I’m really enjoying working at Just Eat. Having now rolled out responsive templates to all of our international platforms, we’re now in the midst of rolling out our new brand. We’re also starting to work on creating a more robust global solution for the Just Eat platform – a project I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into.

Working full-time on one project is challenging in completely different ways to my past roles when working at agencies. You can genuinely see the progression of a project come together as you help shape its direction. Luckily there’s no agenda other than to make the Just Eat platform better, which is a great situation to be in for both our users and our developers.

Writing and Speaking

My writing in 2016 has been both consistent and sporadic. Consistent in that I wrote exactly the same number of posts as I did the previous year: 10. Sporadic in the way that they seemed to be written in batches rather than more evenly spread across the year.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t spend as much time writing as I’d have liked to. I could blame any number of things but quite simply I didn’t put enough time aside to write. This is something I want to rectify in 2017.

In terms of the sites readership, the numbers are slightly down on last year but still great numbers. In 2016 the site overall had 150,405 pageviews and 129,083 sessions, which is down about 15% compared with 2015. The most popular post this year was the 2016 Results of the State of Frontend Tooling Survey – which was posted slightly later in the year at the end of November – which had 39,002 unique pageviews.

Although the overall numbers are down slightly, it’s still incredible to think that over 100,000 people visited the site across the year. Hopefully if I can set aside more time to write, then it would be reasonable to suggest that these numbers will grow through 2017.

Outside of writing for my blog, I also found the time to write my first article for Sitepoint and I’m aiming to continue with that and write at least a couple more articles for them this year. Another 352 people have decided to follow my ramblings on Twitter this year too, which means I now have 1,324 followers.

In terms of speaking, I gave talks at three conferences this year; Port80, located just down the road from me in Newport, FullStack 2016 in London, and my first online conference at Sass Summit. I enjoyed being a part of all of them and a massive 'thank you' to the organisers of each for putting on such great events.

Whereas I’ve been submitting talk proposals over the last few years, I’m going to dial that back a bit this year simply because I want to focus on my writing and other projects for the time being. That being said I’m not ruling out speaking opportunities, so if you do have an event you think I’d be a good fit for, I’d love to hear from you.


Another steady year on the open-source front.

Kickoff, the front-end framework I help maintain with Zander Martineau and Nic Bell, hit v7 back in August and work is under way with version 8. The project has seen steady growth again this year, with 401 stars on Github – up from 338 at the start of 2016.

Statix, a static site generator setup for Kickoff, is close to its version 4 release. This should happen in the next couple of months.

I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to work through in 2017, but as ever it all comes down to how much time I get in between everything else going on. Watch this space…


Probably the busiest aspect of my life in 2016 was my personal life – all in a good way I should add.

Back in February, I proposed to my girlfriend Sarah – and thankfully she said “Yes” :)

Wedding planning is now well underway – dare I say we’re on top of it as I write this with the wedding in June this year. We’ve been busy making a lot of the physical bits you’d associate with a wedding, having designed and printed our own invites and created a pretty basic wedding site, among other things. If ever the web work doesn’t work out, I could always have a go at designing wedding stationary!

My Professional Goals for 2017

It can be hard to set goals for a whole year, but if I could pick one it would be to make sure I set aside more time for writing articles. I’d love to get close to doubling the number I wrote in 2016 – it’ll be interesting to see if I can get anywhere near that target.

I’ve got lots of CSS article ideas that I simply need to put down on paper (or on screen in the more literal sense!).

In terms of learning – I got pretty stuck into ES6 over the last year and I want to make sure I level up my JS testing knowledge. It’s always something I’ve known bits and pieces about but it’s about time I really learned about the ins and outs of the topic and the tools available.

Your turn…

As ever – you’ve read my year in review, but how about yourself? Take a few minutes to look back on your own 2016. What did you achieve and were there things that you hoped that you might achieve that you should prioritise for the year ahead.

Here’s to a very Happy and fruitful 2017!