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Personal report for 2013

You can check the report for 2012 here… To see the report for 2014 check this link

Paragraphs like this one can be skipped, if you do not want to read too much details.

Achievements in 2013

So here are some things I succeeded in during 2013:

Generally, the book has received a positive feedback (approximately 4 out of 5 stars accordingly to different sites) and this makes me extremely proud! Actually, I was worrying how would people perceive the book really much. Certainly, many reviewers of the book found my English slightly hard to read, but still they and other readers rate it very good.

It ought to be stated, that this achievement would not be possible, if I still worked in Softjourn. Mainly because I was presenting my personal work on behalf of the company… This, however, was my own choice – I was trying to make the company better. From this point of view, I should be very thankful to the company’s management, as they did really a lot to make me leave.

The past year was also very productive in Kayako. Thus, the noticable features, I worked on, are:

  • Reengineering of the KQL reporting engine for making it more flexible and easier extendable. It is one of the most complicated and important part of the Kayako product, that animates the reporting app. It was a great pleasure to be committed to work on such an important app.
  • After the KQL engine I was also committed to work on an entire subsystem – on the new REST API for the future Kayako version 5. The task was to reengineer this subsystem, including the design of new REST API. There exist successful world famous companies like Apigee and Mashery, that work on the similar tasks. So that was an invaluable experience!

Right now I work on the pure JavaScript based auto-completion for the KQL engine…

  • In 2012 I was so busy, that I could not find time for updating my 20+ plugins to make them work under recent Redmine versions. So another achievement of 2013 is that I finally did this! Not a huge achievement, but I’m glad, that I was able to and that I have not abandoned them.

Sorry, those of you, who needed to wait for the new versions of my plugins!

In 2012 I also wrote the Subscription plugin, which I planned to release in 2013. And I have not… This is, certainly, a failure, but…

In 2013 I created 4 new plugins for Redmine! And that’s an achievement! They are:

  • SCM Checkouts, which is intended to show the number of checkouts/exports performed on your project repository. This plugin successfully runs on my website, so you can see how it works, for example, here.
  • And ISSUE-id, a highly experimental and a breaking plugin, that makes projects have their own sequent issue numbers prepended with the unique project key. In other words, this plugin makes your issue numbers in Redmine look like: ISSUE-10 (the same numbering style is used by JIRA, by the way).

Ok. I know, that I specified only two plugins developed in 2013 while mentioned more… Unfortunately, only one of the new plugins has been released so far. And it is:

  • Project Sections, which introduces a new way to categorize your projects in Redmine. The plugin can be also used to split the project list into smaller ones.

In the report for 2012 I wrote, that I planned to launch the personal blog in 2013. Unfortunately, I have not… And this is a failure.

But I did not waste time this time and did worked on this! In fact I have a “prototype” of the blog running on my local computer. So I’m very close to launching it. But that’s not an excuse – that’s an announcement! If you were concentrated, you might have noticed, that there should be one more Redmine plugin, that I created in 2013 but have not mentioned yet. In fact, in 2013 I created a set of 3 plugins for integrating Redmine and WordPress:

Here are the details about my Redmine/WordPress integration tools, that are going to be released soon:

This is also a new programming area for me, which, certainly, makes me a beginner in WordPress development…

  • The first, RedWord, is not, actually, a plugin, but a theme for WordPress (WordPress provides a plugin-like API for themes though). The peculiarity of this theme is that it builds a Redmine-like layout for WordPress pages. This layout is so similar to Redmine, that Redmine themes can be used to style it! And that’s the point – the RedWord theme comes with 8 Redmine themes (they are: the “Default” theme, A1, Alternate, Basecamp, Classic, Highrise tabs, Modula Mojito and my Red-Andy), which can be applied to WordPress, and allows easy switching between them.
  • The next one is the last, 4th plugin for Redmine, which I developed in 2013. I named it RedPress. This plugin is an assistant for Redmine and WordPress integration on the Redmine side. Thus, it: a) adds the global “Blog” menu item, b) adds the project blog (as a project module), c) allows moving project news to blog posts, d) allows easy switching between Redmine and WordPress, and more.
  • And the last one is a plugin for WordPress and is named WordMine. It’s an assistant for WordPress and Redmine integration on the WordPress side. Thus, to support the integration it: a) implements a single sign-on system, which is based on Redmine accounts, b) uses Redmine user data (e.g., the language), when possible, c) implements the projects taxonomy and synchronizes its terms with the Redmine project list, and more.

Did I fail in anything?

This year I did not aim to do much, actually… It was planned as a year of relaxation – I needed this especially after writing the book. Also I planned to work on my existing stuff mostly, i.e., on updating my plugins, on preparing my apartment in Ivano-Frankivsk for moving to it, and so on. From this point of view, the following are not entirely failures, but…

Failures still happen and for 2013 they are:

  • I left the oDesk Ruby client library alone… And I stopped asking oDesk guys about its resumption. Generally, I did not feel, that I was able to continue working on it… It’s too bad, but it has been done already (or, to be more exact, not done).

Also as it is mentioned in other sections of the report:

  • I failed to release my Subscription plugin. Moreover, I managed to create 4 more tools and failed to release them too! But I hope to fix this in 2014…
  • I have not revived Orangutan – the bot I personally need much to be more productive! But, at least, I succeeded to keep my Redmine plugins up-to-date…
  • My blog is not there (i.e., here) yet! But the code for it has been written and tested already… All I need now is, actually, to upgrade my hosting to new OS (and to another VPS type).

To my excuse, I has been waiting for BurstNET (my hosting provider) to support Debian 7 on their VPSes already for several months! I have been warned about possible issues when trying to upgrade Debian 6 to 7 manually on their VPSes. So I preferred to wait… But as time goes by I think about making a try instead.

Plans for 2014

Now it’s time to share some plans for the coming year:

Generally, I’m unable to organize my time… I was trying to, but never succeeded! Actually, I have accepted this as a fact and am no more trying to fix it. Some better time organization would be really helpful though… So I’m seeking for a solution and seem to have the one:

  • I plan to revive my Orangutan project (Yeah, I still do! As I planned this for 2013 as well). The main goal of this Jabber bot was to assist in time tracking. But that’s not going to be the reason for revival. This time I want him to be my time organizer, i.e., to remind me, that something should be done, and to make sure, that it has been done! Jabber, with its presence statuses, is a perfect platform for this…

Years ago I was looking for an idea of a public web service project, which could give some profit. This was a long research, that started before Softjourn (2006). During my work in Softjourn I planned to create such project with the company (generally, to gain investment) and even tried to implement a couple of ideas with them. Luckily, the director of the company showed inability to work on serious projects and all such projects died eventually…

Anyway it would be a huge mistake to do such project with Softjourn due to their bad coding abilities, affiliation of smatterers and tendency to trickery. Luckily, I understood this before I found the idea for the project, so I did not share it with them. Luckily, the ideas, I did shared, were not such good.

  • The idea of this project came to my mind at least a year before I left Softjourn (i.e., in 2010), but it still looks to be actual and innovative. And this is the idea I still plan to work on… Let’s name it #MyNotStartupProject (I hate the term “startup”). So in the coming year I hope to continue my work on this project and will let you know about the progress in my Twitter.


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