Happy New Year

Posted on 2016-01-05

With 2016 now in it's time to look back over my working year and review what went well, and what didn't go so well. Setting some goals for the year and milestones to aim for will hopefully keep the motivation running high and make sure that there's lots of self-improvement going on throughout 2016!

What went well


Houdini
This year I made a determined effort to learn how to use Houdini after a lot of stop-starting previously. The persistence has paid off as I'm now getting quite comfortable using it and having lots of fun learning. With hopes to eventually work in FX I've got lots of ideas for potential portfolio projects to work on in my spare time.

Better online presence
I've made an effort to keep my website updated more often, drop into forums often and keep up to date with what is going on in the industry. I'm slowly building up a better online presence but I am happy with how it's gone this year.

Linux
Building a new PC at home and using Linux exclusively has let me learn how to use it and appreciate it's strengths. While I'm not looking to become a Linux system administrator it's definitely not a bad thing to be able to use multiple OS's competently.

Coding
The first half of this year was great with lots of little projects and scripts keeping me busy practicing coding. I've gotten more confident writing Python and this has helped me out across the board.

What didn't go so well


Photography
I've definitely not taken as many photos this year as I have done before. I mainly take photos when travelling and as it's been quiet year in that respect it's had a knock-on effect with my photography! Next year more travel will hopefully help me get snapping more.

Coding
While the first half of the year was awesome for coding, I can't say the same about the second half. Learning Houdini pushed everything else to the backseat, and while I was using code where I could I didn't really have any major project to work on.

What's next

This year will be all about getting confident in FX using Houdini; making some good looking FX and getting the videos out there.

Keeping up with the online presence is important for me, making sure I'm learning from others and trying my best to give back to the community where I can.

The other major goal for the year will be to get some regular coding in. I've had the book Nature of Code for a while now so it's time to finally get working through it. The knowledge will really be useful paired with Houdini, and it's been sitting on my shelf for too long untouched!

I've learnt to not spread myself too thin; getting too excited about the latest buzzword has been something I'm definitely guilty of but I'm realising now I've got enough broad knowledge that I can devote time to really focus in on the areas that I see myself specialising in. Here's to 2016!