By James Naylor
Published on 2 Jan 20
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2 min read

It's a new year (and decade!) and I like to take stock of what I've achieved and what I plan to do in future. This is really just a post for myself, so don't take too much notice.


I've always intended to start a blog and write up some of the things I've learnt - and I think it helps with the learning process putting thoughts to paper. However, I still hate writing and would rather spend my limited spare time coding something I can see the results of.

So as ever, I reinvented the wheel and spent my time coding a blog platform rather than actually writing any content 😕. I did manage to write a couple of articles at the beginning of the year that I was quite pleased with - but I've struggled to keep up the inertia.

It's better to have well-defined goals than fuzzy ones - so next year I am going to write at least 12 articles. I've also been enjoying reading on - it seems to have a nice community so I'm going to cross-post there.

Check out the source code for my blog here:

MTG Wizard Alexa

This year I learnt all about developing for Amazon Alexa. I ported over my Magic the Gathering card finder MTG Wizard that I originally made for Google Assistant last year.

I have a couple of Echo's at home, so I'm a bit more invested in that ecosystem but it's functionally very similar to developing for Google Assistant and I added a whole lot more features to the Alexa version.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out - I'm not sure how useful it is as a product, but it was certainly fun to develop. I plan to write an article or two about developing for voice assistant in the very near future.

Get it from Amazon here

Check out the source code here:

Learning LOVE2D

I also started learning Love2D and have really enjoyed playing around with lua. I wanted to create a game for my daughters involving unicorns or something - the plan was just to start coding and see where I ended up. I started a generic platformer game, but it's not really unicorn-y enough yet - but I did learn a fair bit on the way!

Resolutions for 2020

This year I am going to:

🖋 Publish at least 12 'techie' articles and also post them on

I'm going to write some articles on something! I'll start by writing up my Alexa skill.

📜 Get at least 1 professional certification

Being vaguely interested in cryptography and security, I've started studying for a CompTIA Security+ certification. I've never done any formal IT certifications in over 15 years of being a 'developer', so I feel like I am playing catch up. But I have to start somewhere!

💸 Start a side project that makes some money

I am going to create a project that is useful to someone. And to prove it to myself, I am going to make some money! By the end of the year, I am going to have made a website or software that has taken a payment from somebody! Any amount will do - If I make £1, I will have been successful!

Wrap up

Who knows where we will be by the end of the next decade - but for 2020 I'm hoping that by publishing what I hope to achieve to the universe, I can manifest it into reality.

Happy New Year! 🎉