Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 in Review

As this year draws to a close its time to reflect on what I’ve been up to in terms of development in the last year, and think about what my plans are for the coming year. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I certainly haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to in 2013, but looking back I did get a fair bit done. One regret is that I didn’t blog as much as usual, although there are a whole load of half-finished draft posts, that I really should get round to completing.


Probably the biggest thing I’ve accomplished this year has been creating two courses for Pluralsight, Digital Audio Fundamentals, and Audio Programming with NAudio. It was a huge amount of work, but I enjoyed making them, and I have a couple of future courses in the pipeline with them. They’ve been a great company to work with, and if you haven’t checked out their library of courses, it’s well worth doing so. It’s growing very rapidly and great for getting you quickly up to speed on new technologies.

Open Source

I try to get at least one release out of NAudio per year, and managed that with the October release of NAudio 1.7. I also made an appearance talking about audio on .NET Rocks. Although its been going for over 12 years now, I’ve still got plenty of ideas for what to put into future versions of NAudio. The biggest challenge I face with NAudio is the time required to answer all the questions I get asked. Apologies if your question didn’t get a reply.

I had also plans to add some cool new features to my Skype Voice Changer application, which has been astonishingly successful over the years (downloads in the millions!). But Microsoft pulled the rug from under my feet with the announcement that the Skype API is being retired. My intention is for NAudio 1.8 to feature more built-in audio effects, and better examples of using them. Another plan for next year is to do a talk at my local usergroup showing how you can make a synthesizer and maybe some guitar effects with NAudio. If that goes well I might take the talk round some other user groups or conferences too.

The Day Job

I’ve been at my current company NICE for 9 years now, my longest stretch in a single job by some margin now. And for most of that time I’ve been working on a single product. It’s been this project that has continued to drive my interest in the challenges of maintaining very large codebases, eliminating technical debt, and evolving architecture to meet new challenges. This next year I’m hoping to continue to blog more about best practices for working with legacy code.


I love learning new programming techniques and technologies, and there’s much to keep me busy this year. I’ve dipped my toe into F# and Typescript, and I’ve built my first proper website running on Azure with ASP.NET MVC and JQuery. More recently, I’ve been learning Angular, and will hopefully find the time to blog about some of the things I’ve learned through that.

In 2014, F# and Javascript frameworks such as Angular will probably continue to be the new technologies I focus most on. I have a few simple website ideas that I’d like to build, which should also help speed up my learning of web technologies.

Anyway, happy new year to all my readers, and I hope that 2014 is a productive and rewarding year for you.

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