We’re coming up to the end of the year, and for the first time in a very long time, I decided to set some real personal goals for myself for 2009 (outside of the usual eat better, lose weight, spend less, save more type goals)
I’ve always been pretty good about keeping up with technologies and products that interest me. I’ve been an early adopter of things like Silverlight, Expression Blend/Design, and WPF. However, I haven’t been a great adopter of new programming models or concepts; my core development skills haven’t moved on in a bit. That’s not to say they’ve been stagnant, they just haven’t kept up the pace.
I spend an unbalanced amount of time learning new things instead of learning new ways.
To that end, I want to evaluate and likely incorporate things such as DI/IoC and TDD into my skillset. I’ll also evaluate things such as BDD and see how they fit in with my UX-First approach to development. I want to spend more time in MV* patterns like MVVM and MVP (both for Silverlight/WPF) and leverage those to increase the testability and improve the code.
Here’s the rest of what I’d like to accomplish in 2009
- Become a better developer: Look at and learn the patterns and ways mentioned above.
- Become a better designer: learn more about the current visual design patterns that work and those that do not. Learn more from the great and the not-so-great designs that are out there. Expand my skills with Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Up until I found computers and the love of programming, my friends, teachers, relatives all thought I’d go into art. It’s interesting just how quickly I shifted focus. While I’ll never be a great visual designer, I want to try and revive those skills and that creativity so that I can at least accomplish good designs in a reasonable amount of time.
- Launch a new website that has some community ideas I’ve been kicking around. More on that when the time comes.
- Do more woodworking. I stalled in 2008 on several projects around the home. I need to get them going again, and preferably finish them. My wife would approve of this goal :)
- Keep up with Silverlight and some of the fantastic new things coming out in 2009. With all that’s coming out, this is actually a pretty significant goal.
- Write a WPF application for Microsoft Surface
- Maybe write a small game for Zune using XNA
- Keep a better blog cadence. At times like right now, when I’m heads-down in an interesting project, I tend to blog less and just code/design more. I personally like blogs that don’t overwhelm, but have something interesting and useful to say on a predictable schedule.
I’d also like to write a book, but with a 3 year old and a 2 month old at home, that may be pretty difficult to accomplish :) I’d also really really love to redo my extremely stale main website and this blog, but that goal has been on my list for a couple years now with no meaningful progress.
While I’m still very “thing” heavy vs. “way” heavy in the list above, my hope is to incorporate the new ways in each of those new things, balancing out the two.
What are you going to learn and do in 2009?