2015 Retrospective

2015 was a eventful year on a lot of fronts. Parts of it were great, and other parts not so much, but one thing it definitely wasn’t was boring.
iOS with Swift was definitely the technology I worked on most this year. After some disillusionment on what Swift was trying to be last year, this year was a lot more about just using it for a pretty elaborate app (which, unfortuately I cannot share yet, but hopefully soon). Honestly the thing I had a harder time to learn this year was AutoLayouts. I am still not a fan of the system but I can definitely say I am now pretty productive with it.
Besides iOS the other tech I used quite a bit this year was Ruby and Rails. One personal goal I had for the year was to get really comfortable with a serverside framework that I can use to build concepts quickly. This year I worked with enough Rails code to honestly be able to say that.
React was the one JavaScript framework I really dug into and used for the one web based app I did this year. I like it, though I haven’t dug enough into Web Components enough to see how well they compare. I also dug a bit into React Native and did a small project and talk at one of the Android Philly events. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.
My projects got a little more “hardware aware”. I looked at a bunch of things happening in the wearable space and the Quantified Self movement. Looking at hardware development was interesting because it brought back all the memories from my undergrad days (my major was in Electronics and Instrumentation). I think next year I will finally dig a lot more into hardware as I get more involved in the larger IoT efforts at Comcast.
Also, am excited that the open source initiative at Comcast continues to gain steam. It was great to be mentioned in the Technically Philly article on that.
User Groups and Events
I continue to co-manage Android Philly and that goes well, but I’d like to see us grow faster.I finally set up an official site for it and have some ideas in store for next year, so I am excited about that.
I was happy to be able to attend a bunch of events this year including CESSXSW, The Quantified Self conference (that CIL sponsored) and The International Festival of Leadership in NY. Also visited a number of companies and institutions in Philly and SF and it continues to blow my mind how awesome the next few years are going to be.
Here is my list of books for the year (GoodReads link). I feel I spent a lot of time reading this year thanks to the Philadelphia Free Library.
Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 11.33.48 AM.png
Next year promises to be very interesting with some really interesting technology coming to users. Its going to be a big year for technologies like VR, smart devices and Bitcoin and I am looking forward to working with them.

Author: Arpit Mathur

Arpit Mathur is a Principal Engineer at Comcast Labs where he is currently working on a variety of topics including Machine Learning, Affective Computing, and Blockchain applications. Arpit has also worked extensively on Android and iOS applications, Virtual Reality apps as well as with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML and Ruby on Rails. He also spent a couple of years in the User Experience team as a Creative Technologist.

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