Like photography, I’ve ended the year better skilled than I started it. Which feels good. But in both subjects I’d still consider myself a beginner (or always in Beta!)


Much of the coding I do are little side projects at work, so can’t go into details, but:

  • I’ve got better at Ruby. I still stop when I get to modules, classes, etc - I could (and have) figure(d) it out, but I haven’t had a real need yet (keep it simple and all that). Since I’ve mainly been using Shoes, and quick and dirty coding is fine there.
  • Javascript and user scripting for Chrome. The interesting thing here is I moved beyond moaning and bug reporting about the intranet not working fully in anything else but IE6 and started using userscripting to actually fix stuff.
  • Starting with Java. Not finding it as easy as Ruby, but it’s certainly easier porting a concept from one language to another rather than starting completely from scratch. Looking to do a Jabber chat bot so a nice small enough project to learn on.
  • Oracle SQL. I’d done a tiny bit of MySQL before, but got the chance to write a query for an Oracle SQL database. Easier enough once I twigged the differences.

Using Shoes at work has also lead me to look at the Shoes source code:

ashbb actually did all the leg work here in actually fixing Shoes for Windows, but just trying to follow his work has been an achievement for me.

  • Even managed to dabble in a bit of C in modifying Shoes to provide Key up and down on Windows. I was, of course, subsequently totally eclipsed by ashbb, but I had a go, and that’s the main thing. And the thrill of editing C code (never been near C before), compiling and actually managing to improve the functionality of a programme, was ace.

Next year plans:

All coding I do is work based - it’s the only place I have time - just going to continue with the above. Hopefully be able to help out more with Shoes.