Today marks the beginning of my 11th year at VSA. Fitting that it’s a Saturday and I’m going in to the office today. Definitely classic VSA. With roots in corporate annual reporting, February has always been a pretty steep month for the firm. Our offerings and experience are much broader now, but, year to year, Q1 is still full to brimming with kickoffs, project planning and putting finishing touches on projects that didn’t quite make it into the year prior.

It’s been a long 10 years for sure. In my time here, I’ve seen a lot of change. In process and approach and a whole mess of technology. In 2000, we were building sites for Netscape 3 and Internet Explorer 5 for the Mac (shudder. if you think IE6 is bad sonny, let me tell ya). Tabled graphic slice layouts in fixed size popup windows were the favorite design gimmick of the day, driven by print designers who just couldn’t wrap their heads around a media where height, width and even type size were all variable. Remember the 216 color web safe¬†palette? DHTML? Modems?

Now, our toolbox is much bigger and more robust. We’ve got our choice of platforms, devices, frameworks and languages. The line continues to blur between developers and designers, designers and developers, marketing and application development. I couldn’t imagine a more interesting place to be. Year to year, I’ve been fortunate to always have something new on my plate. Some new toy. Something new to learn. New people to work with. I’ve got a great team and great partners to work with and a future that looks set to provide another 10 years of interesting challenges and opportunities.

I hear will.i.am on NPR’s All Things Considered last month. Every time I hear him interviewed, I get the sense that he’s a pretty smart dude, so it’s no surprise that when asked what he saw himself doing in the next 10 or 20 years he had this to say:

I’m going to be performing music ’cause I love music. I’m going to be making music because I’m addicted to making music. But I’m also going to be, you know – I love animation. I want to assemble a group of animators. I want to assemble a group of code writers. I want people to write code. I want to think of concepts, and write applications and programs based on my concepts. But to do that, you need code writers.

I include this here, because he makes a point that is spot on. I feel the intersection of coder and creative has always been very relevant to me. There are a lot of channels for creativity. Photographers, musicians, painters, sculptors, etc. all still have plenty of room to grow and create and do new and interesting things. But there is no greater medium for impacting the world than code. I love that this is where I’ve landed and I look forward to continuing to make new and interesting things.

As usual, I’m starting off the year unable to focus. I have high hopes for getting to know some HTML editing tools on the iPad to enable me to do some coding while on my commute. Those hopes have been dashed by my newly rekindled love of RSS and Twitter thanks in large part to the App Reeder. I’ve been waiting for a mobile version Of Feedly to arrive for a while now. I love having Google Reader as my central content source, and have been really happy with Feedly. Stubbornly, i haven’t even looked at any other tool for feeds on the iPad until a number of forum posts re: Feedly recommended Reeder. Now, I’m hooked.¬†

The UI is pretty standard fare, but good standard fare. It’s unobtrusive and easy to use, as any UI (mobile in particular) should be. It’s fast and given a decent 3G connection pretty responsive at loading articles.

In my ongoing effort to find time for doing things to keep my development skills unjustified I’m once again looking to my commute as a source of unused time. This evening finds the added boon of a two hour plane trip to Atlanta. This morning I decided I was for sure going to travel Macbookless and prepared for the trip by grabbing a selection of three of the popular HTML editing apps available for the iPad. Despite my intentions, my heavy ass lappie is in the overhead. However, I nonetheless sit here with my third Jack and Coke, my finger begreased tablet and a pretty sweet Gogo Inflight Wireless connection posting for the first time is months while prepping for some real world testing. I’ll let you know how it goes.