Thirteen years, looking back and moving forward

It seems strange to think that this particular corner of the web has been around in one form or another since 2003 and yet today marks the 13th anniversary of my first proper blog post.

Of course the archives of those previous sites (I’ve lost count but at least four domain names and half a dozen CMSs have powered all of the various incarnations) have long since been tidied away, memories are great to maintain but not necessarily something you want for all to rummage through. They’re still out there if you know where and how to look, I’ve nothing to hide, but prefer not to make it quite so easy for the voice of 23 year old me to echo out over the cocktail party hubub of history.

Instead, this 13th year marks a clean start, a further wiping of the ledger and a reset both of content and context to make way for a different focus.

Looking Back

Over the last 1.3 decades, I’ve been privileged to work in an industry that’s continually fascinated and stimulated me. Very few in this world can count themselves so lucky. During that time I’ve moved from table based HTML layouts (remember them?), through the CSS revolution, embraced server side development in a variety of programming languages, learned how to maintain and build servers both real and virtual, written hundreds of thousands of lines of code and developed an array of systems across a variety of industry verticals.

I’ve started three companies, worked for six more and have swung from corporate to freelance and back again (all powered by a mind boggling eight thousand litres of coffee) and met hundreds of very cool and interesting people from all around the world.

The launch of Twitter and Facebook, the birth (and death) of the BlackBerry, the meteoric rise of iPhone & the introduction of responsive / mobile first, at least five versions of Microsoft Windows and the birth and triumph of cloud computing have all filled this period along with browser wars, holy wars, and some actual wars, house moves, job moves, marriage and a merciful lack of significant tragedy in my immediate family all of which I am thankful for and all of which has contrived to make the passage of time anything but dull.

What Next?

I’m rebooting this site primarily to reflect my shift in professional focus and provide an outlet for some of the thoughts and ideas that whirl round my head day in, day out.

I’m keen to get back to the sharing ethos that made some of those ten years worth of posts so exciting and invigorating. Based on a decade of learning and experience I have a lot to share and while the quality of some of (most of?) this knowledge may be questionable, some of it may prove of value to others.

I’m not certain there are more than two or three people in the world who’ve stuck with me for the whole of the journey thus far and that’s totally fine. Interests shift, online trends come and go and so to those who are new to this site, to me and to the content I say welcome, and to those who’ve been reading for a while thank you. I hope that the next phase continues to fulfil whatever requirement first drove you here and that you’ll stick around – if nothing else it should be a lot of fun!

Rob Dudley, August 2016

(Image Credit: Time Flies by Lauri Heikkinen)