My 2011 Year in Review

This is my first “year in review” style blog post. I feel that this year was particularly eventful for me in terms of my web designer/developer career and my personal life, and I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect on those events and capture it here for myself and any interested readers.


I’ve grown tremendously this year in terms of SharePoint® knowledge. I actually started using Twitter this year by following others in the SharePoint community and participating in online discussions about SharePoint. I attended my first SharePoint conference at SPTechCon in Boston. I completed a redesign of my department’s intranet SharePoint site using custom master pages, page layouts, data view web parts, and lots of CSS and JavaScript customizations. I built a jQuery Mobile site that pulls data from SharePoint and displays it in a tablet- and phone-friendly fashion. I had my first printed article published in SharePoint Magazine. I completed my first course at USPJ Academy. Whew, it was a busy year of SharePoint stuff!


jQuery has opened the floodgates to the world of web applications for me. I had built some useful and fun functionality with plain old JavaScript in previous projects, but it wasn’t until I discovered jQuery that I really started seeing the power of web-based applications.

In addition to using ready-made jQuery plugins, I’ve written my own plugins, forked existing plugins to suit my own needs, built the aforementioned jQuery mobile site, and generally used jQuery to enhance the user experience on most projects that I’m involved in. A lot of my jQuery implementations are done in SharePoint, and most of those involve Marc Anderson’s kick-ass SPServices.


WordPress is my CMS of choice. I use it for my website and I recommend it for most people’s personal/blog sites. This year I re-wrote most of this site’s custom theme to take better advantage of HTML5, CSS3, and new functionality in WordPress 3.x. I’ve also written a few plugins for this site that have made adding content much easier. I released my first WordPress plugin to the general public this year and I learned a lot more about PHP in general thanks to digging into WordPress.

Family/Friends Time

I was able to visit with my long-distance family and friends several times this year. I spent a week at my parent’s house in February and had a blast snowmobiling and snowboarding. This summer my mom and sister visited me and my family in Arizona. We took a wonderful trip to the Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railroad. I visited Las Vegas for the first time this year with a buddy from Michigan. We had a great time seeing the sights, trying out a few casinos, and of course attending the Star Trek convention. I can’t wait to go back! This fall I met my dad in Colorado for some off-grid camping and elk hunting in the mountains. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery. This past week was spent with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law for Christmas; even now I’m writing this blog post from my sister’s place before I head to the airport. Of course, I can’t forget the hundreds of hours spent playing the Left 4 Dead and Battlefield games online my friends; it’s a great way to stay in touch and have a good time when you live hundreds or thousands of miles apart!

Final Thoughts

I’m sure I’ve left a few things out, but I definitely had a great year overall and I’m looking forward to 2012! I hope my blog has been helpful to a few people out there, and I plan on adding more articles as often as I can. Thanks to all who have visited my site! Happy new year!