Luke Morrigan
Press Start

2017 Retrospective

2017 has been a good year for me with some successful projects and some personal firsts. I felt I should do a little retrospective on this stuff, partially so I can come back and look at it in the future, partially as a celebration. It's not in any particular order.


This year I was lucky enough to be picked to speak at JSConf Budapest (videoAvatar for, my first time speaking at a large conference. The event was awesome and I'm so happy that I got to be part of such an excellent lineup and meet so many great people. Also Budapest is a beautiful city, I need to go back.

I was also asked to speak at the Leeds Testing Atelier, a community-run testing conference, where I spoke about snapshot testing (videoAvatar for Again, this was a great experience!

Rounding out my speaking this year, I was asked at short notice to speak GDG Devfest Coimbra. I jumped at the opportunity to speak again and was glad that I did! The event was a mix of web, Android and a few other things, all really interesting! Again I got to meet some fantastic people and have some great conversations. I didn't get to spend a lot of time in Portugal, but I definitely want to go back.

I'm really fortunate that my manager has been super supportive as I've been doing this, allowing me to take the time off work without having to use holiday as well as giving some great feedback. My friends and co-workers have been really supportive too.


LeedsJS is the JavaScript community group that I run in Leeds and this has been our best year so far!

Towards the end of 2016 we tried having 2 talks per event and I felt it worked so well that this year we carried on with it!

We've had great talks on JavaScript topics such as React, Swagger and PWAs as well as some more human topics such as mental health and continuous delivery.

We also became an alcohol-free event as well as trying to get some more inclusive food choices (such as vegan and gluten free options). I've noticed that our attendees are a bit more diverse as a result, which is what I was aiming for!


I've been at Sky Betting & Gaming for 18 months now and it's flown by. I'm extremely fortunate to be working with a great team.

I've learned a lot over the past year and being allowed the time to learn stuff while working has been fantastic. As a result, I finally did some work with React this year. Having the opportunity to mentor has been amazing too!

A huge milestone was releasing the responsive site to 100% of customers. My team has been working on this the entire time that I've worked there, taking an experimental approach to make sure we got it right. I'm super proud of the work we've done.

Personal Projects

Earlier in this year I released jscad-includifyAvatar for which is a Node module that builds the includes for a JSCAD project into one file. This was a great opportunity to learn more about ASTs as well as having a go at building a utility that works as both a cli tool and a Node module.

As a result of the work I did on jscad-includify, I got interested in snapshot testing. As I couldn't find a tool that would let me do snapshot testing with TAP (the Node test framework that I like), I ended up writing tapshotAvatar for This was an interesting challenge as I learned a lot about snapshot testing and had to ensure it was well tested itself.

I also rebuilt this website with the aim of keeping it more up to date and to blog more. You can read more about the website here.

Throughout the year I've also been working on my automation bot WoodhouseAvatar for I've not added a lot of major functionality and have mainly been working on tidying up the version 2 code, but I have been working on automating my heating over the past couple of months and will hopefully have a post up on that soon.

Mental Health

This year I've been far more aware of and open about my mental health.

I've taken 2 separate weeks to clean and declutter my house. During this time I cleared a load of junk out of my house, cleaned, donated a load of stuff to charity and set up a work area so that I can build stuff. This was with the aim of making my house a place I feel more at home in and somewhere I can feel comfortable.

A co-worker and I also pitched for Mind to be Sky Betting & Gaming's charity of the year for 2018. The winner will be announced early next year so fingers crossed that we win!

2018 Aims

I have no real concrete aims for 2018, but I have a few rough ideas:

  • More public speaking - I've really enjoyed giving talks and want to do it more. I've got a plan for my next talk and will be starting work soon!
  • More blogging - I want to try and share as much information as I can, as well as increasing my written communication skills.
  • More learning
  • More open source projects