Year in review: 2023

31 December 2023 General

2023 saw a great working year for me. I’m finally in a role where I’m challenged and learning something daily, and towards the end of the year, I’ve made the initial transition to manager of managers. Reflecting on the year, I realize most of my focus and the thoughts that come to mind are work-related. I’ve let this website stagnate a bit, and maybe I’ve not been as focused on my public profile now that I have a career ladder to climb and don’t need to find fulfillment or progression myself.

So, just like the past two years, I will once again complain that it was hard to write this review, albeit for different reasons.

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Year in review: 2022

31 December 2022 General

This year sees another round of changes to my day-to-day life, with lots of self-improvement in the face of professional stagnation and a lengthy notice period. I’ve had lots of highs and lows this year, with things getting much better towards the end of the year.

Like last year’s review, this has been hard to write compared to previous years, but let’s look at the changes in my professional life and take the time to look at some of the positive changes I’ve made.

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Year in Review: 2021

31 December 2021 General

This year has seen some significant changes in my day-to-day life. Not only am I now a dad, but I also have a new job.

Other than those small changes, this year has seen some stagnation, which is fair considering I now have less free time on my hands, but it’s also part of why I changed roles. As a result, I’ve found it a little harder to write my review this year.

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Goodbye, Rock Solid Knowledge; Hello, 10x Banking

28 November 2021 General

As of November 2021, I have resigned from my position at Rock Solid Knowledge and started a new role at 10x banking. In this article, I’m going to talk about why I’m moving, what I’m doing in my new job, and what, if anything, will change on this website.

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Year in Review: 2020

29 December 2020 General

I know I said I wanted to travel less…

While this year was chaotic in many different ways, writing this review has helped me recognize the positives and put my achievements into perspective.

If you are interested in writing your own review or just privately taking stock of your year, I recommend checking out the ultimate annual review.

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Adding Tailwind Utility Classes to your Bootstrap Website

10 July 2020 General

Tailwind is a utility-first CSS framework that one of my colleagues has been advocating internally at Rock Solid Knowledge for some time. After using Bootstrap’s utility classes on my own website, I’m finally sold on the benefits of using utility classes for web design.

Bootstrap’s utility classes are relatively basic, and I soon became jealous of some of the utility classes found in Tailwind, especially the ability to prefix any utility class with a breakpoint name (e.g. md:w-3/4).

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Year in Review: 2019

28 December 2019 General

I wrote one of these articles last year, talking about what I’d been up to since 2016 and my plans for 2019. I found writing that blog post quite therapeutic, and over the past year, I often caught myself coming back to it (and not just for the pictures).

So, here’s another nostalgic blog post, for a year that felt both too short and too long.

What Happened in 2019

To start, I’ll pat myself on the back. In 2019 I...

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Year in Review: 2018 Catch Up

01 January 2019 General

The past few years since joining Rock Solid Knowledge have been a bit of a blur. I’ve gone from living in a small flat in Cornwall with no central heating, sat all year in a small office of 3, to being married, living in a city, and becoming sick of flying.

I know I’ve accomplished a lot these past few years, but I still seem to feel like I’m not moving fast enough or that someone will eventually discover me for the fraud that I am.

So, to combat this feeling, and since my wife keeps telling me that I should share what I do more often, I’m going to publicly take stock of the past couple of years and think about what I want from 2019. In true social media fashion, I’m going to only discuss the positives, but obviously there were some lows; however, those are private.

Hopefully, this will be useful for me to review again in 2020.

What’s Happened since 2016

In the mad rush since 2016, I have...

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Software Design and Development Conference 2017

01 February 2017 General

This year I’ll be speaking at the first conference I ever attended: London’s Software Design & Development Conference (SDDConf). This is a big first for me, as whilst I’m comfortable talking to user groups or companies in house, this will be the first paid-for conference I talk at.

I attended this conference back in 2015 and it opened a lot of doors for me, both in terms of knowledge and contacts. In fact, it was at this conference that I decided that I wanted to be on the other side of the podium. I can’t recommend attending enough.

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NDC Oslo 2016

10 June 2016 General

So I’ve just got back to my hotel from the final day of NDC Oslo 2016 and as you always end being after these things, I’m shattered. I came with the objective of finally getting some learning on ASP.NET Core (however much it may have pained me) and where better to do it at one of the biggest and most respected conferences going? Whilst I may have started off with ASP.NET Core in mind, I soon got distracted by the high quality security speakers and wide range of subjects.

I think the best write up I can give is to talk through the experience and then list the talks that I attended, making recommendations where possible about which speaker or talks you should keep an eye out for.

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How I Prepared For My First Technical Presentation

29 March 2016 General

Recently, as part of a job interview, I had to give a 20 minute presentation on a specifically requested technical subject, with a scope of my choice. The subject material was fine, I can waffle on about it for hours on end, but outside of some poor attempts at University, I had never given a professional presentation before. I gave myself just over a week to prepare and this article covers what I did and the resources I most benefited from as a technical professional.

Research the Subject

The first step was pretty obvious; in order to figure out the scope of my presentation, I needed to research the subject matter and see what already existed. This is not just in terms of documentation, blog posts and articles, but also how others are talking about it. How are they selling it? What are they presenting as its key features? What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong?

I initially took the stance of an audience member, as opposed to a rival speaker, and asked myself...

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Ten Steps to Learn Anything Quickly Review

30 January 2016 General

I can no longer recommend this course.

10 Steps to Learn Anything Quickly is an online course created by John Sonmez, the man behind Simple Programmer and Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual. The author is famous for being a prolific pluralsight author, having released over 50 courses across multiple disparate technologies. The learning techniques used for creating these courses were alluded to in Soft Skills, however it is only in this video course that they have been fully documented with supporting examples.


The course consists of:

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Software Design and Development Conference 2015

15 May 2015 General

Conference Over.

Brain Frazzled.

Social Skills Minimal.

SDDConf 2015

For the past week I've been a country bumpkin in the big smoke for SDDConf 2015. The trip has had it's ups and downs (I got mugged, yay!) but overall the conference was a success.I got to see some excellent speakers, including some I didn't know of before hand, and gain some immeasurable knowledge.

I also finally met Dominick Baier and Brock Allen, the creators of Identity Server, and was vaguely recognised, so I guess there was some worth in plastering my ugly mug all over this site.

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Why Blog

13 January 2015 General Last Updated: 05 July 2020

Why am I writing a blog? Well, there are a few reasons...

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