2010 Retrospective and 2011 Goals

Last year, following the lead of other blogging developers I posted a retrospective of my last year and committed to goals for the next.  It worked out quite well and this year I will do it again.  I’m going to review some of my major commitments (some of them changed throughout the year) and see how well I did.

It has been a pretty eventful year.  For starters I made two career moves in one year.  My wife and I also persevered through a very prolonged (and costly) kitchen renovation.  We enjoyed an eye opening trip to Africa.  However most notably, my wife and I also found out we are having a baby.  I would probably be happy if next year was a little less eventful, but I very much doubt it.


Goal: Read Domain Driven Design – F Honestly I completely failed here, worst goal ever.  I mean I read bits and pieces for reference fairly regularly, but I have still not taken the time to sit down and get it all read, or at least all the important bits.  For this year I plan to change this instead of committing to specific books, since my interests shift often, I will instead commit to reading more often, and taking notes and recording what I’ve been reading, even blogging about it.  This way instead of failing to read one book, I will be able to look back and review what I did end up reading.

Goal: Contribute to an open source project – B I did manage to make one, albeit small, contribution to the nCQRS project, the NoDB file based event store and a couple of small bug fixes.  I plan to continue to increase my contributions to open source this year by setting aside dedicated time to this commitment.

Goal: Practice TDD and start learning/using BDD – A I have been steadily, though slowly, improving my TDD skills in .NET.  I’ve also been using BDD style test writing in my DDD/CQRS work.  I’ve recently started using MSpec as my BDD framework of choice in .NET.

Goal: Organize discussions/talks for the ALT.NET group – B Since starting up the ALT.NET beers we have been meeting more regularly (almost every month).  It would be nice to get some more learning/teaching oriented meetings going though and that is the plan for this year.  iQmetrix has kindly offered up a space for us to organize regular ‘hacker meetings’ when we can hack on code and drink some beers.

Goal: Submit at least one presentation/talk to a conference – A+ Aside from submitting and being accepted to TechDays for my CQRS talk, Adam and Robert and I also organized a small open-spaces session at Agile Vancouver (unfortunately it was originally going to be a full day, but got cut down to a single session, still it was very successful).  Also due to illness on Adam’s part I got to join Stephan Moser doing a half-day workshop on DDD/CQRS also at Agile Vancouver.  All in all a very successful result.

Goal: Learn Ruby on Rails – B I really am only just beginning my journey into Ruby, but RoR is just so comfortable to work with.  You can see a small example of what I’ve been learning on Heroku where I have a work-in-progress pomodoro app running there.  Rails is one of the most exciting things I’ve started learning since getting into software development, and you can better believe I will be continuing my learning here this year.

Goal: Learn to use a powerful text editor – A I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Vim.  I use Vim for RoR development, I use Viemu in Visual Studio and I’ve installed Vimperator in firefox.  Modal navigation/editing is supreme!

Goals for 2011

Last year some of my goals proved a bit difficult to measure quantitatively.  This year I am trying to set some goals that can be measured more easily.

Finally there is blogging.  Davy Brion already told everyone not to resolve to blog more, but I have a tendency not to do what people tell me.  This year my blogging dropped to about half the previous year.  Procrastination was a big reason, the other reason was indecisiveness about what to write.  So I won’t resolve specifically to blog more I resolve to procrastinate less and be more decisive.  As Ayende often says “just blog”. In the interest of keeping myself accountable, I plan to get back up to ~50 posts this year, and I’ll know deep down if I’m procrastinating again.

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