2010 brought a lot of changes to the Blades household, the biggest of which being a promotion into management at my job. I took over managing both the Systems and the Development Team, at a time when there wasn't much team left. This began a long, arduous task of recruiting and hiring, and by the end of the year I had hired three ColdFusion developers, one User Interface/User Experience specialist, one SQL developer, one desktop administrator, and one systems administrator. Along with this we took on the completion of four major projects with very short deadlines. These had begun prior to me taking the new position, and were out the door fairly close to schedule, but with the fun that accompanies projects that are poorly planned ahead of time. One of them had a necessary last minute technology change on client-side rendering, which happened very quickly but dragged our testing and deployment schedule immensely. I even pushed through a switch on our mapping application at the last minute, to use Google's JavaScript v3 Maps API, which I actually got to write myself (you don't write much code in management).

2010 also brought my new book, Learning Ext JS 3.2. Due to some scheduling issues with one of the other authors, the book was released way behind schedule, finally arriving just weeks prior to the Sencha Conference. ExtLLC became Sencha, who released their new Sencha Touch framework for mobile development. During the Sencha Conference they also showed some sneaks of the upcoming Ext JS 4; a rewrite of most of the existing framework making it leaner, meaner, faster, better. Hey look! New book material ;)

Adobe had some killer announcements as well. After Apple had banned new apps to the AppStore from cross compilers, Adobe turned around and focused heavily on the Android platform, releasing some very nice tool enhancements for creating mobile content, as well as getting the Flash Player into the Android Marketplace. Later in the year, Apple reversed their cross-compiler position, and Adobe immediately began to work again on tools for creating mobile content on the iOS platform. Unfortunately for me, I was so heavily entrenched at the office that I didn't get to spend near enough time playing with these new developments (Adobe or Sencha). That's about to change though...

In my new role, as a manager, I had hoped to have the ability to drive technical change in a positive direction. Unfortunately, events that long preceded my taking the position worked hard to prevent that momentum, and many of the decisions were no longer mine to make. This, coupled with the drain on my time, my family, and my ability to do the things that I enjoy, were taking a heavy toll on my personal well being. Time had finally come for a change.

December was a very interesting month. First I recieved an offer for a new opportunity, once again doing full time development, but this time as a telecommuter with flex schedule. I wasn't looking at the time, but it kind of came to me, and appeared a perfect fit. I resigned my management position, with the customary two week notice. This was bittersweet, as I had devoted a lot of time and effort to the company over the past five years, but this new opp was too good to pass up, and works with a vertical that's very near and dear to my heart. On a Friday I said goodbye, and the following Monday went to work with the new gig for a week before taking 10 days of pre-planned family fun for my daughter's birthday and the Christmas holiday.

Now that my time is settling back into some semblence of a groove, I once again have some time to re-devote to the different development communities I enjoy being a part of. Jay Garcia recently asked me to convert his book's Ext JS examples over to ColdFusion for some of his readers. Ext JS 4 is due for public beta very soon. And Adobe has many things on tap for this coming year, for which I am on pins and needles. 2011 will be a new start, and is already shaping up to be a great year.