As 2014 comes to I close I look back at everything that has gone on this year and I realise how incredibly busy it has been for me.

At the start of the year I was about to embark on my second semester at Cardiff University where I am currently enroled on an undergraduate Mathematics degree. As part of one of the modules we had to form a “company” and we had to design and implement a piece of software utilising the programming skills we had picked up in the previous semester. Then by the end of the semester we had to pitch our product “Dragon’s Den” style to a small panel of people.

I had great time while working on this project and learnt many things I wouldn’t have otherwise including:

  • Very basic socket programming
  • Designing GUIs using Qt
  • Calling Python code from C/C++
  • Teamwork/Collaborating

If you are interested we attempted to create a system that given a set of longitudes and latitudes that would calculate the shortest route between all given locations. The aim was to target companies such as the Royal Mail to help increase delivery efficiency. The results of this project can be found at these two repositories.

I also had the great opportunity to go to the first Cardiff Django Weekend which I have to say was a great experience. It was the first time I had got together in a room full of people who were all there for the same reason. To share experiences and help each other with their code, it was a fantastic atmosphere.

The summer saw me take part in a research project in the Cardiff Mathematics department evaluating the usefulness of various text mining algorithms in open source software. Which was another great experience not only from the programming skills I developed but getting a glimpse at how research at a university is conducted and whether I could see myself doing that in the future.

Finally as we come to the last few months of the year I was then in my first semster of my second year and there was a code club being run which I looked forward to each week. Whilst there I worked on a number of projects including the design and maintenance of the website, and a web app which will hopefully help students pick their modules more easily. It’s taken us a few attempts to get our heads around how it should be done, but I’d like to think we’ve finally arrived at a winning formula and that we’ll see it finished within a few months into the new year.

So that was a very brief look back at my 2014, purely from a code perspective and while I’d love to go in more depth about everything I know you all have new years celebrations to get to. But before you go below is a video generated by one of my favourite applications Gource, which gives a visual representation of what went on.

Each tree you see is a seperate project and you can see me and all the people I collaborated with flying around and “zapping” files into existance. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a happy new year and I hope to see you in the new year.