Every year, I wonder how it's already the holiday season. Moments later, I see the ball drop on TV (sadly never seen it in real life, despite having lived in New York half my life). Boom, 2015 is upon us. To partly make up for the fact that I don't post often on here, I thought the least that I could do is sum up all of the stuff from this year.
Ninjality, as you might know, is the company that Kyle and I started for doing client work. Its other purpose is to represent our other projects. Early in the year, we gave the site a well-deserved refresh of the design. You can read the blog post about the redesign, but the takeaway is that it was our first responsive site that would lead many other responsive projects.
Around March, a friend of ours, Leon Hitchens, wanted a new theme for his technology blog Digital Bounds. This was a fairly big project but we like the result (although I can see where I can improve it at this point). It's a simple and responsive design with a blue color scheme and I enjoyed working with WordPress and Bootstrap.
The second project was for a client that runs a podcast show on YouTube called Pimp My Setup. Kyle got us the job to create a "waiting queue" for the site. It took me about a month but I finally have a working version over at pimpmysetup.com/queue. Due to lack of full knowledge of the project, I had to iron out a lot of bugs but eventually got a pretty good system going for submitting setups and displaying them. It was also a good way for me to get back into PHP, MySQL, and front-end.
Overall, what we've done with Ninjality so far is pretty great. We're slowly creating a name for ourselves along with a portfolio of awesome work for awesome people.
Hylus is probably the longest ongoing project at Ninjality. We released the beta in the beginning of 2012 and the current site still has not come out of beta. At this point, we decided to completely revamp and start over. If you don't know yet, Hylus is a social network that is built mainly by Kyle and I (hopefully a bigger team in the future). In a world of social apps, it's hard to stand out but we're hoping that simplicity and a focus on connecting people with others will make people want to try it out.
On the development side of things, the web app is responsive thanks to Bootstrap and I'm trying out some fun front-end tools such as Webpack and Bower. To get the server-stuff working, I'm coding with the awesome Laravel framework, and we're collaborating via Git version control and Vagrant development environments.
I can't guarantee a release date for the new Hylus, but we'll hopefully have something ready Q1/Q2 of 2015. Regardless, I'm super excited to give a better social experience.
Finally, I should probably put in a few words about my personal site. The biggest update was, you guessed it, a redesign which I posted about this summer. It was a really big deal because my custom WordPress theme was completely lost in a server issue, so being able to get rid of the temporary default theme was great. This was also my first nab at doing local development which is pretty much my go-to way of coding now. I really want to start posting more on the blog, especially tutorials, but we'll see what happens in 2015.
What's to come?
Overall, it wasn't too busy of a year but I'm glad that I was more active in web development than the previous year. I was able to get into local development, responsive design, and got experience with the new tools that were released. I really enjoyed working with the clients for Ninjality and seeing my work published on a non-personal project.
As far as 2015 goes, I want to continue what I've been doing and expand my experiences and portfolio. I predict that Hylus will be a highlight for next year and perhaps I'll have other projects on the way as well. On a personal note, I will be going into my senior year next fall at UNC Charlotte so that will be both sad and exciting. With that, Happy New Year's and I hope you all had an awesome 2014!