I’ve enjoyed blogging about my progress as a developer this year so this is my end of year round up of the highlights of 2023. In this post I’m going to look at what I’ve learnt; the challenges I’ve faced this year as well as what I’m hoping for in 2024. This is my second year working full time as a software developer and it’s encouraging to see how far I’ve come particularly when building a new career feels hard. I hope it’s helpful for everyone learning to code or early career developers.

2023 Year in Review

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

What I’ve been doing

I’m really proud that in April this year I passed my BCS L4 Software Developer apprenticeship with a Merit. My final project was a rebuild of my employer Common Knowledge’s website which I finished in February. The support both from Common Knowledge and Founders and Coders where I did my initial 12 week training programme has been incredible and helped me get this result. I’m really happy that after the completion of my apprenticeship Common Knowledge offered me a job as a junior developer which is what I’m doing now. This year I’ve worked on a range of projects for them including migrating climate organization 350.org to WordPress Gutenberg and assisting with a new website for The Architecture Lobby. A highlight was building a website for the Solidarity Knows No Borders campaign in collaboration with Migrants Organize. In my own time I’ve also built a new portfolio site that I’ll be launching soon and I’ve started work on a project to map domestic abuse support services across the UK.

What I’ve learnt

In 2023, as well as gaining confidence as a developer generally, I have focussed on these areas:

The Challenges

Inevitably as part of the learning process I have had plenty of challenges and difficult moments in 2023. I have struggled a lot with feeling that I’m working very slowly particularly compared to more senior developers. I know that speed will come with time and experience but it’s very tough day to day to feel that I’m not contributing enough to the team. Another challenge has been keeping my CSS organized without using a framework. I’ve tried very hard to improve my understanding of PHP and WordPress from the ground up but I’ve still found modifying the query loop block difficult.

What I’m hoping for in 2024

In the new year I’d like to:

Thank you for reading and good luck with your coding in 2024 and beyond!