A life in the year of Adam Riddick

It’s been three (ish) weeks since my last blog post, but what can you expect, its the holiday season!

Happy New Year!

I’ve had a busy year again in 2014, though I failed to create any “summative/pledges for this year” blog for 2013, so you’ll just have to take my word for that.

In 2014, I completed my university placement year with Simpson Group. We were working with some really cool clients on an enterprise level, creating a system to increase efficiency of advertising campaigns throughout hundreds or even thousands of stores, spanning countries & continents. There was some very challenging work in there, which peaked around January time when fighting for a new “Big Fish” client.

The system was great. I was brought in on a placement to help bring a web forms solution forward to an MVC environment. I had the amazing experience of being given trust and freedom to work, architecting and implementing a solution, working with an amazing colleague, and then demonstrating & implementing the system for a global retail market player.

Spoiler Alert; The Client Signed.

In June, I changed job.

I moved into a new role for a new project. I think I’m finding my calling in the full cycle of a project, though I know I’d rather avoid a career that jumps from project to project and company to company.

I can’t talk too much about this new project at this stage as it’s still in the works. I’m the project manager for the system, working with a tight-knit, hard working team. It’s fantastic, we all get on great and I can see big things for us in the future, promises be delivered. The wider team is fantastic as well, everyone gets on and everyone is willing to exchange ideas and support. Not everything is done in the way it should be, but we wouldn’t be required to work if it ever was.

Project Progress

Project Progress

As you can see from the image, we are fast closing in on release one, the flagship release. The image also tells you we are using Team Foundation Server as both source control and Application Lifecycle Management. We are an Agile team, we use Scrum to get through our business and it’s working well. Very well.

The freedom, and faith, that has been put into the development team is paying off, and I can see this being a dynamic that will work for many years at this company, as long as the wider structure is put into place to support the growth and career expectations of those involved.

Once the initial releases backlog has been completed, it will be on to implementation testing, the final stage before release. This project will be delivered this year, and plans will be put into place for both release 2 of this same system, including the implementation of instances for any number of clients who decide to knock on our door, and the blueprints will be outlined for future projects.

It’s an exciting time, with many fantastic oppurtunities to flourish in 2015. I don’t just believe in the delivery, I expect it.

I do not have a degree.

Ok, I’m misleading you here, I do have a degree. Though, as I may or may not have mentioned in numerous blog posts, I am still a student.

In 2013, I was awarded a Foundation Degree In Science In Computing from Teesside University With Distinction. I was also awarded an Entrepreneurial certificate for the completion of a project for the Citizens Advice Bureau, here in sunny olde england. However, as stated above, this is my Foundation degree, and I am still studying to achieve my BSc Honours.

The studying started in 2014. In September, I went back to Univeristy on a part-time basis. I’ll study three modules this year, ICT Service Management which covers ITIL standardisation, Advanced Database Systems and Advanced Networks. I will continue with these studies, in my final BSc year, from September of this year (Did I say Happy New Year?). I expect that I will achieve a First Class Honours Degree, and I think that is also expected of me.

This is my mission, and I am willing to accept it.


What this year will bring, I do not know, but I am ready to face the challenge and look forward to the experiences it will bring.

I do have resolutions, and I’ve never put them out into the public domain before. Perhaps this year, I’ll stick to them.

  • I will make the time spent with my children count.
  • I will update my blog with its new template.
  • I will continue giving my all to my studies. I already have significant working experience for my level of education, but the degree will push me onto bigger and better opportunities.
  • The next is to deliver on time, or ahead of time, with the Work project I can’t say too much about.
  • I will stick to my abstinence from caffeineOk, I’ve already failed this one. I will continue to work on my abstinence from caffeine. I always feel more energetic after a week without caffeine, but every now and then I fall back into the deep, dark pot of coffee. Mmm coffee. 
  • I will exercise more. This is not an “I will drop 10lbs”, or “I will go to the gym every week”. The last year has seen me very busy, but has kept me from being as active as I would like. I’ll increase that this year, maybe I’ll go for a jog in November.
  • I will be more selfish. At work, all of my decisions are based on what’s best for the business and the stakeholder. This has leaked over somewhat into my personal life. I’m becoming selfless, and though that may be a good thing, I don’t like it all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be heartless, but every now and then I need to learn to say no, I’m going to do what I want, or what’s best for me.


Finally, I have a forced new years resolution. Though, that doesn’t mean I’m not happy about it.

This year, when I was sat around a dinner table with my family, I had the idea that we should, as a group, decide the resolutions of the others seated around the table. I won’t go into detail telling you each and every one of my families resolutions (If you want to know them all, you need to meet a friend.) but I’ll cover mine. I have to be more social. My target has been set to see more of my friends over the year and even to make some new ones.

If anyone wants to help out, or is in need of a friend, well here I am!

The punishment? Buying dinner. Whoever fails, splits the check.

I don’t plan on spending my money.

I hope you all had a great 2014, and have a fantastic 2015. I wish you all excitement, adventure and challenges.

About Adam Riddick

When not Developing, Adam moonlights as a climbing frame for his two children. Adam Riddick was founded in 1987, in County Durham, England. Read More ...

08. January 2015 by Adam Riddick
Categories: Bits & Bobs, Life | Leave a comment

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