A Fresh Year

As I was wrapping some code up last night on a project, it dawned on me that today is the one year mark with my job at Fresh Consulting. I can’t believe how time flies these days and all the amazing things that have happened in that amount of time!

I knew when I left for Fresh that I was going into a place where I would be able to work with some new products and technologies, but I wasn’t expecting the list to be THIS big. When I was working for the county, it was pretty much a .Net only shop, and I had just gotten folks started on a bit of PHP for some WordPress installs. During this past year I have been able to start or refresh my skills with the following technologies and platforms:

  • PHP
  • CodeIgniter (and MVC framework for PHP)
  • PyroCMS (a CMS buit on top of CodeIgniter)
  • Android platform testing
  • iOS platform testing
  • PhoneGap (a platform to build mobile apps using HTML5)
  • ASP.Net WebForms
  • ASP.Net MVC3
  • Entity Framework
  • Umbraco (a CMS built on top of ASP.Net)
  • MySQL
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Not to mention I’ve been doing this all on a MacBook Pro with a VMWare Fusion Unity environment!

This has been a dream come true. I’ll admit it hasn’t been easy at times (especially when you’re tasked with bringing up a site from scratch using a new platform you haven’t touched yet), but being able to work with a lot of the new tech on various projects keeps me learning new things and keeps my mind agile at solving problems and providing solutions to whatever a client needs. Really though, I’m like a kid in a digital toy store, being able to put all these cool things to use.

In a lot of ways, it has also increased by blogging as well. I’m one who likes to “dogfood” my own tips and tricks (in addition to sharing them) and I’ve come across some pretty fun things along the way. I learned how to setup my local environment for Android testing (not quite as easy as it sounds), create time based interval reports through SQL Server, and probably my favorite (and most unexpected) was setting up queries that based latitude/longitude results on distance, thanks to this crazy thing called the haversine formula.

But aside from all the tech goodness, and more importantly, the folks at Fresh really treat me well. Even though I’m the “remote” guy and it’s easy to be disconnected from the group in that regard, I’m always greeted warmly whenever I’m up for my visits. ¬†I’ve been able to share some great meals with the team (I even had sushi and liked it!) and spend a little bit of off hours with a few of them, just getting to know them better. When I’ve had some requests for additional tools, they have been purchased without a thought. I feel very much a part of the Fresh team, even from far away, which is the most important factor. I can see how one could get burned out when doing large projects detached from the rest of the team, but I don’t feel detached at all.

So here’s to you Fresh! Thanks for a truly amazing year of new work, new tech, and new clients! I’m looking forward to many more, and I hope I’m doing you proud!

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