August 2019 Roundup

August 27, 2019

I am trying something different with the blog, partly because of time commitments and so on, I have decided to write these as monthly journals covering everything from what I am doing professionally as a consultant and contractor to my photography outings, it will be easier that way plus I can make these posts a bit longer :-)

Then maybe in the future I will be able to write more frequent weekly posts, so this is better than nothing at all!

Technology, what's new?

Netlify Analytics

I have enabled Netlify's analytics services against this site to see how it works and I shall do some write-ups on this in my monthly round-ups coming up during the last quarter of 2019. Yes, blimey we are approaching that point in the year now! The way in which Netlify Analytics works is very different to the approach that Google take with their offering which has got me interested. If it works well enough for this site, then I shall recommend it to clients in the future.

The official blurb states that Netlify users can add Analytics now with just a few clicks in their dashboard, and even backfill historical data to view trends over time. Most analytics tools rely on third party scripts, which can be obscured by ad blockers, but Netlify Analytics ingests data directly from its edge server nodes. Wow this sounds great, so shall report back on this soon in this blog.

What else, hmmm...

Too many to mention, the world of web development is bewildering enough, let alone the other technologies that are really grabbing my interest. I am trying to keep track of what I am learning right now, in the hope I can impart this information onto you, my friendly reader! So for the next installment of this blog, maybe I will be a bit more organised to be able to share this new content with you...

Business updates

Contracting at Clearbox

Still going strong, project's current phase approaching release and I love Vue JS more and more each day. Will this mean I become a specialist in the JavaScript framework? Will I "niche down"? That is always a dangerous thing to commit to but for now, if I can maintain this contract further into the year and 2020 or ensure my next gig is also with Vue, then yes it is something I'd like to do.

Tina has a new job

Tina my Wife and co-director of Nick Lewis Digital is branching off to take on a new full-time opportunity. She started her current job around 5 years ago and needed to set up her own Limited Company as a contractor, so we decided that would be daft given that I already have one! So she joined as a Director and went on the payroll. We had to do it it pretty swiftly and she never before had ever considered being a contractor.

Anyway that contract is now coming to an end, so Tina needed to start looking either for another contract or a permanent role. Contracts are thin on the ground for administrators and office managers right now, especially where we live at least. So once again things turned around rather swiftly, as the first company she was interviewed by, invited her back for a second interview and the following day offered her the role with a really good salary and benefits package. Too good to refuse!

So that means my business that was one, then two, then three, and then two again.... is back to being just one!

Tina is super excited to begin her new role in early September...

Closure of our Office

You may be forgiven to think we are in a spot of bother as the other piece of news this month, is that we close our office. What the heck? Is everything alright?

Hah, Couldn't be better!

The Office served it's purpose brilliantly and I'd like to thank Dawn Steele at Ferneberga House and give Pure Offices a massive shout-out in the process. You've been utterly fab and let's stay in touch, you never know. Never say never, as they say.

The reason: I have hardly set foot in the office for the past 6 months and costs wise, I now want to streamline my business with two big worries on the horizon being IR35 and the dreaded Brexit. I need to increase my margins now, build up a better financial cushion for whatever slaps us in the face these coming months and years. Another reason for preferring to push for an extension at Clearbox this October! Contract hunting is always better at the start of a new year rather than in the latter quarter.

So a lot has happened this past month and the brilliant August bank holiday was most welcome, gorgeous weather, kicked back and did nothing.

Refreshments!

Every developer (contract ones especially) needs to chill out from time to time, well a lot really and I last year discovered my taste for Gin which I never used to be a fan of when I was younger. So my Wife purchased me this brilliant birthday present this year, a membership for the Craft Gin Club...

The Gin Club

Gin Club

Manly Spirits (Sydney, Australia)

Travel and Photography Trips

RHS Wisley

The first weekend of August, a Sunday morning we arrived early for breakfast and we took a walk around the new entrance hall, food hall, shop, garden centre and of course the gardens themselves. Read more about Wisley here in an earlier blog post I wrote...

Coming up next month

  • A weekend in Cambridge and at long last the chance to indulge in photography again
  • Hopefully a chance to delve into my photo archives and produce some more articles on the places and photos taken
  • I map out the key areas of my research into the latest front-end development trends, technology as a whole and begin to share what I am writing about imminently