2023: A year in review

Table of Contents

2023 has been a bit of a weird year for me. The last couple of years I've spent a tonne of time on open-source projects, tweeting, and writing blog posts. 2023 was kind of a quiet one on that front.

In terms of the stuff that I did work on:

  • Developed a couple of Filament plugins.
  • Started building a static analyser and language server for PHP & PXP projects.
  • Started re-writing the static analyser and language server for PHP & PXP projects in Rust.

I started writing a book titled Data Structures in PHP. Writing a book is waaaay harder than it seems. You don't want to be too verbose because it's boring to read, but you also don't want to be too vague because it takes away all of the value. Finding the perfect balance between the two takes time, but I got there in the end.

I originally wanted the book to be a sort of encyclopedia for all things data structures, but it turned into more of an introduction to data structures. That's not a bad thing, since there are plenty of folks who haven't really interacted with data structures in their "raw" form before.

If you're interested in the book, you can get a 15% discount using code BLOG15 – or use this link and it will be automatically applied.

Once I released my book, I felt like I had the taste for informative content creation, so I started planning a course that teaches Rust to PHP developers.

That's still not fully released, but I have been recording videos and customers who pre-order (for a heavily reduced price) can start watching the videos as they release.

If you're interested in the course, you can still pre-order and get instant access to some videos.

Laravel Live UK

I did my first ever conference talk in June at Laravel Live UK. It was a pretty cool experience – public speaking has never really phased me, but doing it in front of people who know about the subject matter is a bit daunting, you say one thing that's wrong, you look like a fool.

Here are a couple of photos from the event:

Huge thanks to Jonty for giving me this opportunity, I really hope I can speak at Laravel Live again at the next event.

Laracon US

2023 was also the year I attended my first Laracon! I flew all the way to Nashville to see some wicked talks, meet some online friends in person and overall have a really awesome time.

Getting there was an absolute nightmare – my outbound flight from Heathrow was fine but some adverse weather conditions resulted in a cancelled connecting flight and a 7-hour layover at JFK.

Despite that, it was really really good. Very excited to see where Laracon US 2024 is and perhaps I'll apply to speak..


Back in March we sold our first house that we purchased back in 2021. It wasn't the smoothest sale and purchase... a burst water pipe at our new property prior to completion put a massive delay on the whole thing – plus some legal holdups – it took quite a while for the purchase of our new house to go through.

The new house is a bit of a project, a doer-upper if you like. I do enjoy a challenge and as we work on things I can see it all coming together and being a house that we stay in for a good few years.


I think this year is the first year that I got somewhat close to being "burned out". For a long time I was working a full-time job and freelancing, which was a lot of work. Back in June, I stopped freelancing and changed jobs to actually start working full-time for one of my freelance clients.

It's been a nice change of pace and I've had a lot more time to work on side-projects and stuff. I do still find myself wondering what to do though – when you go from doing so much all of the time, to doing less, you find yourself lost, unsure of what to do.

That's one of the reasons I started writing a book, working on a video course and a couple of new SaaS projects.

The main goal for 2024 is to work on cool shit, and enjoy working on cool shit. I don't want to put pressure on certain things, but I do see myself getting PXP to a point of usability.

I want to make sure that all of my work on open-source projects and other side-projects is sustainable, so finding ways to make that happen is my other goal.

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.

Happy New Year!


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