Looking back at 2014

2014 just ended and like the last 6 years here is my year-end review post and plans for 2015.

Personal Highlights

2014 was a milestone year for me from the career perspective. First, I completed my 10th year at work. It’s been exactly a decade since I started to work, fresh out of college. Then, I quit my job at Yahoo where I was working for more than half a decade, took a break, did a self-reflection, decided to steer my career towards WordPress and joined 10up. It’s been less a month since I joined 10up but I have already realized that I made the right decision.


In 2014 I crossed another milestone. It’s been a decade since I started blogging. I started off with a classic “Hello World” post and then went on a hiatus for about 6 months before I started blogging regularly πŸ™‚

Let’s look at my blogging stats for 2014. These stats were generated using my “Year End Stats” WordPress plugin.


I guess the graphs are self-explanatory. My blogging suffered quite badly in 2014. I have written only about 15 posts in 2014.

So my main focus for 2015 is to improve my blogging skills. Not just quantity but also quality. If you have any good resource about improving writing skills (be it a book or an article or a course) then please share it with me.

I am also going to write at least one post every week for the entire year to get back my writing rhythm.

My teammate at 10up Eric Mann blogged every single day in 2014 and his dedication was my main motivation for this “at least one post a week” self-challenge. I am hoping to write a victory post like Eric at the end of 2015 πŸ™‚


Even though my blogging suffered in 2014, my reading habit flourished in 2014.

At the beginning of 2014, I took up a challenge to read at least 30 books in 2014. I succeeded and even ended up reading 2 extra books. You can checkout my 2014 reading list at Goodreads.

For 2015, I am planning to read at least 25 books (roughly one book every two weeks) from a range of topics, not just science fiction which is my favorite genre. Also this time I want to add a few Tamil (my native language) books to the list.

To keep myself motivated and to keep track of my progress, I am going to add the list of books that I am current reading in the sidebar of this blog. Also unlike earlier years I will try to post a review of each book as I complete it which will also help me in my blogging self-challenge πŸ™‚

Pet Projects

Like my reading, I was very happy with my pet projects and my contribution to open source projects in 2014. A look at my github profile should show that I was pretty regular in my contribution, even though it was slightly less towards the end of the year.

For 2015, I am expecting a slight increase in contribution especially towards WordPress plugins since I have decided to concentrate on WordPress this year. Regarding WordPress plugins I have decided to stop supporting PHP 5.2.x even though WordPress is still supporting it. I will write a separate blog post explaining the reasons behind that decision.

Update: I wrote another blog post to explain the reasons behind dropping support for PHP 5.2 in my plugins.

I will also continue to spend quality time with Bulk WP and my other non WordPress pet projects like HardwareFun and Arduino Makefile, even though my hardware hacking suffered a bit in 2014.

Speaking and Conferences

My public speaking also suffered a bit in 2014. A quick look at my speaking page will show that I spoke only in about 6 events in 2014.

In 2015, I am planning to get back into my old speaking rhythm. So expect to see meΒ in lot more conferences this year.

New Skills and Continuous Education

I have the habit of learning something new every year. In the past I have learned a new programming language or concept every year and in 2014 I choose to learn the programming language R and some new concepts in Machine Learning and Data Science. I completed a couple of online courses about Machine Learning and Data Science and I am now half way through the Data Science specialization track in Coursera.

In 2015, I want to complete the Data science specialization track and do some pet projects in Machine Learning and Data Science to practice my skills. In addition to that I also want to get myself back into the JavaScript and node.js world. I have not done any significant work in JavaScript/node.js in the last 2-3 years and things seem to have changed a bit which makes me to feel a bit outdated. I am starting with Grunt for now and hoping to get myself familiar more with other node.js based tools/frameworks as the year progresses.

How was 2014 for you and I am interested to know what you are planning for 2015. Please a leave a comment or post a link to your blog post about your plans for 2015.

Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2015.

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6 Comments so far

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  • tamilselvi says:

    All the best sudar.. nice to ur 2014 achievement. U hve taken bold decision of quitting yahoo.. πŸ™‚ expecting more post in 2015.

  • bruno says:

    Yoy dude, firstly happy new year, And second, congrats on your new job………It’s been a while since i browsed your blog but glad to see you are making a lot of progress.

    On a totally different note, what made you go for R? I mean I understand it handles regression models better, but this is just coming from a scientific point of view, Obviously, I am not well versed with industry standards for statistical tools. But How does R compare in functionality with sage or octave? or is it just a matter of something that is widely used in community?

    • Sudar says:

      Hey Dude, Happy new year to you as well and thanks for the wishes.

      Well, there are two reasons why I learned R. First it was the language that was thought in the Data Science course that I took. Second, initially I thought it was very easy to use. But after I learned it I felt that it was not a *real* programming language. Most of the concepts in the language is not consistent and it felt like a non-programmers language to me. I also learned that you could do pretty much everything in Python (with numpy, Pandas and other libraries) whatever you wanted to do in R πŸ™‚

      • bruno says:

        Hey, thanks for the insight in R. I know a few folks (not much) who do dabble in R but what i found was it was more like a package. Actually, eventhough i use python for most of my near-immediate everyday usage, i do have complaints about python for large scale processes. Numpy is a very valuable module and i use both scipy and numpy for on the go matrix manipulations but if i need a serious work done, i always switch back to sage or octave. I think part of the reason being OO stuff, since everything is classes and objects and not to mention function arguments are pass by object reference (a concept i confess still boggles me). The last time i did a benchmark test with fortran vs python, fortran outperformed python.

        My personal advice, if you know the algorithm behind, the implement the callable routines in fortan and use f2py.

        Though i must confess, i haven’t used pandas.

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