Year-End Review and Goals for 2014

With the year almost over, it's time to review my goals for 2013. And since announcing those goals publicly seemed to be good motivation, let's try again for 2014. If you have any thoughts about the review or the goals for next year, please let me know in the comments section.

Year-End Review

The review can be kept relatively short since my progress was addressed in a Mid-Year Review post. To summarize, the CyberScorpion Bytes website has been redesigned. It still uses WordPress, but I developed my own custom theme. The mid-year review also talks about my switch from WordPress' tag cloud to the Filter Posts by Keywords page. However, I made some further enhancements. In addition to sorting the tags/keywords alphabetically, you can now sort them by how often they are used.

Since I'm no longer writing weekly posts (see the mid-year review), my custom theme has also been updated to be responsive. If your browser window can be adjusted, go ahead and change the dimensions to see how the design adapts. Note that I haven't decided how to handle things like data tables and figures. So they may run off the screen at smaller window sizes. This isn't ideal, but it's also not the end of the world.

2014 Goals

  • Learn how to use prepared statements / binding in MySQL – To build on my progress toward learning MySQLi, I want to look into prepared statements (aka binding data). I've done some initial research, just not enough to understand how prepared statements work.
  • Build first AJAX script – There have been a number of website projects that could benefit from AJAX. For example, I developed a spotlight section for one website which is basically a news feed. It currently displays a handful of the newest entries and links to a separate page to show the rest. Well, AJAX could be employed to pull the information in dynamically.
  • Incorporate portfolio entries – One reason for maintaining this website is to demonstrate my capabilities. Writing blog posts is one way of showing what I can accomplish. However, the posts typically only show a small portion of an overall picture. I want to showcase final products that I've created using the techniques described in the posts.

    Note that the portfolio posts shouldn't affect the release schedule for regular posts. You'll get those posts every other Monday like usual. The portfolio posts will be sprinkled in between as they are ready. Also note that the plan is to keep the portfolio posts in their own section of the website. So there may be a slight redesign in the works.

  • Continue reading PHP/MySQL book – One goal I want to carry over from 2013 is to finish reading the PHP/MySQL book that I started. This gives me the chance to really dig into PHP to see what I've missed and find ways to work faster and more efficiently. It will also help strengthen my MySQL skills so I can be less dependent on PHP.
  • Increase presence on PHPFreaks – For 2014, I plan to be even more involved with For the most part, I've spent my time reporting spam, moving topics around, and helping with the simpler questions. In addition to my current activities, I want to spend more time helping with the more complicated questions.

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