Professional Resolutions for 2010

6. January 2010 10:19

I feel compelled to write the obligatory New Years Resolutions post.  Honestly, I doubt anyone really cares about my resolutions other than me.  However, it helps with holding myself accountable when I state them publicly.  While I do have some personal resolutions as well, I’m going to keep this focused on professional issues as I attempt to keep personal items out of my technical blog. 

In previous years, I had a tendency to make unrealistic resolutions that I would never meet.  I feel as though it is important to set resolutions that will cause you to stretch yourself, but they shouldn’t be completely unattainable to the point you are setting yourself up for failure.  With that in mind, here are my professional resolutions for 2010:

  • Write at least 50 quality blog posts with technical content.  Rather than setting some goal to blog x number of times a week, I’m shooting for a cumulative goal by end of the year.  I’m also specifying the context.  Posting about events and such doesn’t count.  I want to do a better job of writing technical content…even if it is only for myself.
  • Make at least 5 OSS contributions.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken a much greater interest in OSS.  For the most part, this has been limited to using various OSS projects and studying the code.  Going forward, I would like to ease into steadily making contributions.  Next year, I hope to get very involved in a project or two, but I have existing commitments through the end of 2010 that will limit my availability to do so.
  • Write at least 3 articles for Code Project.  It has been nearly two years since I wrote my WCF article on callbacks.  Although it has been relatively well received, I haven’t done the best job of answering questions.  I also have dramatically changed my approach to using WCF during that time.  I want to write a few articles this year (not necessarily related to WCF) and try to provide responses for those with questions.
  • Deliver at least 15 presentations for community events.  I usually do 8 to 10 in a year anyway, but I want to push myself a bit harder this year.  Furthermore, I want to use these presentations as an opportunity to evangelize development principles that have become important to me.  Over the last couple of years, I started my journey into the world of ALT.NET.  It has made a fundamental impact on my approach to software development.  Although I was initially very skeptical, I have come to embrace many of the ALT.NET values.  I want to use these presentations as opportunities to share my perspective.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I hope to persuade some people to at least consider other alternatives by effectively demonstrating how these alternatives can be useful. 
  • Write a Ruby on Rails web application (at least a simple one).  I want to get more familiar with Ruby…at least enough so that I can have quality conversations with other developers about it.  We are currently using Ruby for a lot of our build scripts, but I would like to be more comfortable with the language so that I can apply it in various ways.
  • Become proficient in F# (and functional programming in general).  F# is a very intriguing language.  As I start to ease more and more into the world of functional programming, it has opened a whole new way of thinking about how to solve certain types of problems.  I want to get better acquainted with the language and understand how it can be applied.
  • Gain a solid understanding of the new toys added in NET 4.0 since it will be officially released this year.  I’ve already played around with it some in the betas, but I need to really dig into some areas.  The new support for parallel programming is of particular interest to me.  I want to acquire a deep understanding of what it can do and how it works.

Those are quite a few goals, but I feel none of them are unattainable.  As intended, they should force me to stretch myself a bit, but I feel as though I can pull them off.  We will see how well I did in a year from now.

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About Me

I'm a passionate software developer and advocate of the Microsoft .NET platform.  In my opinion, software development is a craft that necessitates a conscious effort to continually improve your skills rather than falling into the trap of complacency.  I was also awarded as a Microsoft MVP in Connected Systems in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

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