What semi-colon?

'New Beginnings'

So assuming anybody out there actually reads this blog more than once, you may have noticed a few things lately. Firstly that I've not posted in far too long, and secondly that there have been some changes around here. Well, it's not just the blog, hence the extended break from posts. As the title of this post suggests 2012 is a year of new beginnings for me. I've started a new job, more on that later, and decided to move my blog away from wordpress and give it a bit of an overhaul.

Firstly, why the move? Well for one thing having done some work on setting up custom Wordpress sites for people recently I have massively fallen out of love with it. Don't get me wrong, for the layperson who wants a basic blog it's great. But for me it just wasn't working out. There was also the fact that it was costing me for hosting and I wanted some cheap decent hosting. Enter Octopress, I'd seen some information on this a couple of times but never really properly looked at it, until now. For those that haven't heard of it, Octopress is a blogging framework designed with hackers/coders in mind. It's built on top of Jekyll the blog-aware static site generator that is used by GitHub pages. The way it works is that you create your posts in Markdown or HTML files, then run a Rake task which then builds static pages with your content on them. What this means is no database requirements, and technically no server side language required. This meant I had the choice of 2 (that I knew of) possible hosting options, GitHub Pages or Heroku. Both seemed like good options, both were free, had good levels of support and service, and would let me use custom domains. In the end I decided to go with Heroku as I'd been wanting to try them out for a while and it gives me a good scalability, so while it's free for now, I can add more to it if I need to. So far this seems to be working out pretty well for me and I've since started hosting another project that I'm working on with them. As for Octopress, I'm really happy with that and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone needing a simple blogging solution.

As for the new job, well I'm now working at a games company called Eutechnyx in Gateshead. I'm one of the main Web Developers working on their new Online Racing MMO Auto Club Revolution. This has been a big change for me as it's meant leaving behind PHP and MySQL and embracing Python and MongoDB. I've also had to get to grips with SVN which has been a considerably less enjoyable process. As for Python and Mongo I'm really enjoying them. Python is still a strange language to adapt to with it's whitespace orientated style, thankfully the time I've spent using CoffeeScript lately has probably helped a great deal with that. I've also been using Mongo on a private project I'm working on with Ruby and Sinatra and finding that really snappy easy to work with once you understand the way embedding documents works.

So what does the future hold for me? Well I think that for now I'm leaving PHP and MySQL behind. I'm still going to be continuing in my Javascript development and looking to bring CoffeeScript into that as much as possible but my server side work is now going to be either Python or Ruby, both of which I'm having a lot of fun with at the moment. As for my choice of data storage? I think it's safe to say MongoDB is here to stay on that front, although I will miss working out clever SQL queries.