Wow, that was some year. 2014 will go down as the year I married the amazing Amy Kimber and had the most amazing party afterwards –  as well as the year I left my good friends at The Site Doctor in Herefordshire to take on a new challenge at Stericycle ExpertSolutions in Berkshire. (Still miss you guys!)


It will also go down as the year I managed to convince the company to spend over $10,000 USD on Pluralsight licenses for the team – a remarkable Christmas present for them all and a huge sign of continuing investment, as well as the year I was off to Copenhagen for one of the weirdest conference parties ever. Singing YMCA to about 300 drunk developers was definitely a highlight.

The end of the year also means that an annual tradition has come round again… Board Game Truce 2015 starts from the 1st of January. For a few months those fantastic guys and gals at Eclectic Games in Reading will not see either Amy or I – it’s like going cold turkey. I shall upload the list shortly, but be warned, it’s grown. We’re up to 82 games and there’s still Christmas to get through!

This is it. The final list. (Apart from when we realised we missed one.) This is the Board Game Truce 2014 list. Over the next few months we’ll battle it out over 60 games to see who can win the most and choose the very first board game purchase of 2014.

We’ve listed everything here, even those games we’re not overly proud of owning – but rules are rules and play them all we must. So here goes, we’re going to go easy at the start – it looks like we’re starting with a few games of Fluxx.

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At about this time last year Amy and I realised we had quite a few board games between us. Our love for a good board game had created an insatiable appetite for more and we needed some way to make sure we carried on playing the games we’d bought before the most recent purchases. We therefore created the “January Truce”. From the 1st of January 2013 we agreed we would not buy another board game that year until we had played all the board games we owned. We also agreed to keep score and the winner could choose the first game we bought.

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“Once in every show there comes a song like this..”

My personality means I am always wanting to push myself further by learning new things, pushing my boundaries and taking on new challenges. This was, in part, the reason why I took on the challenge of presenting at DDD events many years ago and a major part in the difficult decision to leave my current position as Development Director at Morning Data. It is an inevitable decision once you realise you’re not pushing yourself as much as you should, much like the inevitable emotion-rousing song in musical theatre.

When I joined the company back in February 2003 I was the very first employee and the first to introduce the company to the world of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Bring us forward to the current day and I leave the company as their Development Director having risen through the roles of Senior Developer and Head of Development. I leave behind me a fantastic team of excellent, talented, first-rate developers and co-workers whom I have had the pleasure of calling my colleagues and will continue to call my friends.

With the company we broke the golden rule of rewriting software and successfully proved that it is possible if managed and handled properly within the team. Between us we introduced Continuous Integration, Build Radiators, Continuous Deployment, Unit Testing, TDD, Kanban boards, morning stand-ups, the infamous WAT board and as much agile as we could stomach. The company is now poised for many, many great things and wish them all the success in the world. For me its onto a brand new challenge and it all starts tomorrow.

A cloud. On a phone.

“The Cloud” is great isn’t it. For storing stuff and processing stuff and making stuff scalable. “Stuff” has never had it so good. Most of the world seems to be putting its “stuff” into the cloud. A lot of applications now process “stuff” in the cloud. At this rate the computer will soon be moving towards the dumb terminals of the 1970’s and 80’s. Which in some weird way brings me to my point. You see, our mobile phones are already doing a lot of processing of stuff in the cloud and it’s becoming a rather large nuisance; for me anyway.

A few months ago I had to start using an Android phone (for those who don’t know, I’m waiting for the Nokia 1020 before I upgrade and I’ve recently lost the use of the Nokia 900 I had) and I made good use of the Google Navigation app. Whilst it lacked a few of the features I was used to on the Nokia Drive app it did at least do the navigation bit to a high enough standard that I arrived at my destination.

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