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2020 Recap

Well, 2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year hasn't it 😬

Luckily my family, friends and I have mostly avoided catching the virus so far. I've been fortunate that I've been able to continue my job at Laravel with (almost) zero disruptions to my daily work life.

I'd like to take a look back at 2020, both professionally and personally.

At Work

I feel like this year I've really settled into my role at Laravel. I've crafted, deployed and supported several large features both in Forge and Envoyer.

Sharing these developments with the community via Twitter and the Laravel Blog has been important to me this year. I've made an effort to document and share more.

I previously reviewed my first year Laravel, but since then we have done so much more.

Laravel Internals Podcast

On the 18th November, my colleague Nuno Maduro and I recorded the first "Laravel Internals" live podcast on YouTube.

Laravel Internals is a new format where members of the team will discuss what they've been working on.


Most of my time this year has been spent working on Forge, which I've absolutely loved. Here are just some of the things I've worked on this year:

I've also tweeted about a lot of the smaller changes, features and enhancements that we've deployed. Some of these changes include:


Envoyer has received a lot of love this year too:

At Home

A lot has happened in my personal life.

A New House

After a turbulent few months at the beginning of this year, we were unsure if we'd be able to move. It look a lot of persistency and taking matters into our own hands, but we were able to move house in July.

This is the first home I've ever bought and I'm really proud of Katie and I for making it happen. We have a lot of jobs to get through, but thankfully lockdown has given me a lot of time to make a start on them and it's been fun!

A New (Home) Office

Having worked from home full-time since July 2019, I knew that wherever we moved to, I'd want a permanent "home-office" setup. We'd looked at places with enough outdoor space that I could have a separate working space, but in the end we settled for me using a spare bedroom and having a sofa-bed in there.

This was the first room to be fully decorated and, once life returns to more of what it was, we'll order the sofa bed to go in there.

Katie switched job this year but has also started working from home during the pandemic, so we're now sharing a desk and office.

I really need to take some new pictures of the office! We have a new carpet and some pictures up.

Celebrating Our First Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in July! I continue to feel very lucky that we chose to marry last year (we had considered waiting till this year) and I know of many weddings that have been affected by the pandemic.

Unfortunately, we were unable to do anything big, but we had a lot going on already (what with moving house), so we enjoyed our new home together.

A New Van

Katie and I have wanted to buy a campervan for years and the opportunity came this year.

We bought Birtha (a VW T25) in August with our friends. Sadly, we haven't had much chance to use her yet and when we did want to use her, we found she'd been leaking petrol!

Since replacing the petrol tank, our friends took her on a roadtrip to Scotland and back.

Next year, we need to spend a bit of time working on her and fixing up a few things.

Kelly and I sitting on Birtha!

A New Baby

We're expecting our second baby in June 2021! Katie is doing well and is having less morning sickness than she did with Harriet.


Music is a big part of my life. I tend to obsessively stick with a few songs for a while and then spend a month or so rotating them as part of my previously obsessed songs.

This year has been no different. Here are some of the songs I've been listening to on repeat (not all new music):

  • AJR, Bang!
  • Frozen, Into The Unknown (yay for having a 2 year old daughter)
  • Freddie Mercury, Living On My Own - No More Brothers
  • Jake Bugg, All I need
  • Twenty One Pilots, Level Of Concern
  • You me At Six - SUCKAPUNCH
  • Hollywood Undead - Ghost Out
  • Madeon - The Prince
  • Bastille - WHAT YOU GONNA DO???

And I think that wraps up 2020 for me! Please do share your recaps with me, @jbrooksuk.