Skills upgrade

Last year I focused on new routines. I didn't seek out new languages or tools. Regardless, being a hired gun means each project comes with it's own requirements and stack of technologies, so opportunity to pick up new skills is ample.

PHP. I haven't used PHP since 2007. I was brought into a PHP project. And it was good and fine. The project was using version 5.6 (and has already jumped to 7 at the time of this writing) so I was able to make use of the many improvements PHP has seen in recent years. Unfortunately, the project still uses CodeIgniter (as opposed to Laravel, which looks quite nice)... so still about a decade behind, in terms of web framework.

Angular. I experienced the hipness of Angular. And I'm not really into it. After several months of development in the deep-end (and with the exceptional guidance of John Papa's angular style guide) I believe I have a very good understanding how how to build out large-scale modular front-end system. That said, I don't much enjoy it and would rather use ReactJS components with a flux-type application architecture.

A run-through of minor Angular irritations: the learning curve is steep for anything other than the most basic SPA architectures and behaviours, frustrating to debug when unable to make use of the debug tools, frequently presented with edge cases where a certain framework feature would break or not work as expected, cohesion in documentation lacking... and just the general smell of the whole thing. At the end of the day, I have a hard time buying into the "add javascript to html" paradigm.

But for a certain types of project -- and definitely for certain types of designers/developers -- I can understand how being procificient with Angular would be significant to productivity.

So what's coming down the pipe in 2016? Typescript and more ReactJS. And perhaps Angular 2, which seems to address many of my gripes with Angular.