phuu is Tom Ashworth

A year to remember

18 Dec 2012

For me, 2012 was an incredible year. This here’s a sprint straight through it all, as much to remind me as anything else!

University

In September I started a Computer Science degree at Cardiff University, and gave a short lecture to my year group on HTML5. I walked out of a lecture and nearly quit in January. The whole experience was very frustrating for me, which may well be a function of being single-minded to a fault.

frittr

I built frittr, a wee money management tool, using Node and Mongo and Heroku – the latter two were more or less new to me. It taught me a lot about building products and where the real work lies – the stuff they don’t tell you about. frittr wasn’t a success at all, but was fun all the same, and restored the bug for building stuff.

Show & Tell

I spoke at Multipack Show & Tell in February about Node, Mongo and Heroku based on experience from frittr. Buzzword heaven, yes, but it was my first taste of technical speaking to a knowledgable crowd, and a great experience.

Multipack

After much discussion with various Multipackers, I redesigned and built the new Multipack website with much-appreciated coaching from Andy Higgs. All in all, it took way, way too long to be launched (only launched in October-ish)!

Buffer

As the uni year headed into exams I joined Buffer “part-time”, but worked almost full-time for them from April till August, including three weeks in baking-hot Tel Aviv. An amazing experience that taught me a lot about the world of startups, managing my own time and building a product. They moved to the States so it wasn’t going to work out, but I’m very happy (and grateful) for the opportunity to work with that very talented – not to mention hard working – bunch of guys and girl.

App.net

After coming back from Tel Aviv I was as something of a loose end. Fortunately, App.net arrived on the scene, and I picked it up and ran with it, building the friend finder and the cross poster. Credit to Rich Cunningham and Ant Willaims (Multipackers both) for pushing me to do it, and to charge in particular. Both were a much greater success than I expected: approaching eight thousand people have found their friends, and around have 350 paid for Twapp to cross-post to Twitter.

I made quite a screw-up however, posting to a number of my customer’s Twitter accounts without them knowing. While some people were angry, after I’d apologised personally and profusely most were absolutely fine with it.

Brighton

Around the same time I headed down to Brighton for my first conferences, Reasons to be Creative and dConstruct, and for one of the most incredible weeks of my life.

I was fortunate enought to meet many people who I hold in very high regard, including the bemohawked Remy Sharp. I was preparing to head back to university, but he offered me a job. I accepted, and now here I am!

I have a lot to say about that experience and how I feel about it, but perhaps this isn’t the time. Suffice it to say, I’m in my dream job and having a truly great time.

The future

I’m looking forward to an incredible 2013. I have the option to go back to uni in September but it’s not looking likely, because right now I’m having a blast working with the lovely family that is Left Logic doing what I enjoy most: building shit.