ryangjchandler.co.uk

(laravel, javascript, rust and more)

2021: A year in review

Personal

I wrote about saving for a deposit in last year's review. That deposit was eventually used after securing a mortgage and purchasing our first house. It's been super nice to have our own space with a dedicated office for my work.

Work

I'm still a full-time developer at Surewise and I've managed to enhance our tech stack even further this year. We've continued to adopt Livewire and Alpine.js.

We've also adopted Tailwind in some of our newer projects and systems, finally making the move away from heavily-overwritten Bootstrap.

I've also been hot on PHP upgrades. We started the year on PHP 7.4 and upgraded to PHP 8.0 pretty quickly and we're now aiming for an upgrade to PHP 8.1 in Q1.

Freelancing

Last year I started freelancing / contracting for other businesses who were looking for TALL stack help. I continued doing that in 2021 and have completed a plethora of projects.

There has been a huge variety of work coming in and I've enjoyed every second of it.

Open-source

Just like last year, I have spent a good chunk of time contributing to open-source projects and releasing some of my own.

I've made more than 4000 contributions to repositories of GitHub this year. Here are some of my personal favourites.

Filament

Filament is a set of Laravel packages designed for TALL stack development. It provides a table builder, form builder and highly extensible admin-panel package for your Laravel applications.

I joined the project after using it myself on this blog and some other toy projects and sending in multiple contributions. Since then, Dan has worked hard on the 2.x release and I've tried my best to contribute wherever possible.

Using these packages myself has allowed me to see some flaws and opportunities for refinement, which is never a bad thing. Dog-fooding is one of the best ways to do this.

Alpine Packages

Alpine 3.x was released in 2021 and this came thing an amazing new plugin API. I took some of my older 2.x packages and upgraded them to support 3.x.

At the time of writing this post, my Alpine Clipboard package receives more than 1 million hits per month on the CDN and my Alpine Tooltip packages receives more than 150,000 hits per month.

The Spruce library was archived and no longer receives updates since Alpine provides a first-party global state solution. Despite that, the CDN still recieves almost 100,000 hits per month.

Other work

I've been super interested in programming language theory, design and development in 2021. I've played around with multiple language ideas and have open-sourced a couple on GitHub.

A lot of this work was done using the Rust programming language which I really enjoy using. I even streamed it a few times on YouTube.

I'd like to continue this journey in 2022 and work on a solid programming language that targets a specific domain (not crypto, dw). Some of the areas that interest me are:

  • Mathematical calculations and data science
  • Graphical application development
  • Word processing

Who knows? Perhaps I'll have a language by the end of the year that people actually use and find helpful.

Epilogue

I want to thank everybody who has supported my work over the last year through Twitter, GitHub and sponsorships. It really does mean a lot.

I set myself some goals last year and can confirm that I completed the following:

  • Convincing Taylor to follow me on Twitter.
  • Released at least 3 new open source packages.
  • Met new friends.
  • Wrote more blog posts and helped people out.

Going forward into 2022, I would like to do the following:

  • Reach 5,000 followers on Twitter - currently at 3,000.
  • Stream on YouTube at least once a month.
  • Continue writing more blog posts.
  • Speak at a conference.

We'll see that how goes next year.

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