Monday, December 28, 2009

My 2010 Challenge List

Last year my friend John posted about challenging himself for the new year. Obviously not a new concept but there was something I enjoyed about his posting the ideas publicly and then following up on them, if for no other reason than I realized I too wanted to accomplish some of the same things. So in that same vein I figured what better way to dust off this blog than to commit to digital pen and paper my list of resolutions. In fact the dustiness of the blog will directly influence my first one:

Professional Goals:

1) Update this blog with a new topic at least twice a month. This seems an obtainable goal, I do have new ideas to talk about I just never follow up or write them down. Time to change that.

2) Speak at something, anything, and codemash doesn't count. I consider myself a terrible public speaker. Always have been. I get all nervous and shaky and well.. its awkward, but every time I step up and do it I get a little bit better. So I need to do it more often. This could be at something like Ignite Cleveland or a user group or conference. Whichever.

3) Continue developing a Kanban approach for consultancies and apply it to my current job. Towards the end of this past year I started getting my coworkers interested in improving how we do project work. We started using a Kanban-lite style approach for in house work and overall people seem to like it. I want to build on this and actually teach people how the system works. Fortunately I have some fellow advocates in this one.

4) Learn some of the new development techniques and technologies in the .NET world. My day job is 90% .NET work but in reality I find myself more passionate about open source technologies and little scrappy "upstart" languages like Ruby. That said there is some really cool stuff happening in .NET and in order to continue to make my career there I need to learn them. So a short list:

  • NHibernate w/ Castle or ActiveRecord

  • WPF

  • WCF

  • Microsoft MVC

5) Continue to get to know Ruby. I really like this platform and the communities focus on TDD (or BDD) and generally maintainable code is commendable. This year I mainly want to accomplish a couple things.

  • Use cucumber on a project

  • Get comfortable with Rails and RSpec where I don't need a book to look up simple things anymore.

  • Compete and complete an application for Rails Rumble 2010

  • Relaunch EventCasts (the new name for our previous Rails Rumble app Twoups.

6) Get things squared away with Greenfield Studios. Greenfield Studios is the company that some friends and I started last year to try and build a site that would help people affordable use and locate green technologies. The site never amounted to much due to a lack of real data on the topic so it has effectively been shuttered. Since then I've wanted to reuse the name and restructure it legally to serve as an identity to put on any independent contracting work or product work I do. This means finding a good lawyer who I can afford. Suggestions are welcome :-)

7) Finish EventCasts and one other side project. Lately I've been using google wave to track the various side project ideas I have. At present there are 4 in the hopper. I want to get EventCasts done and one of the other 4 by the end of 2010.

House Goals

1) Finish remodeling the basement (without hiring someone to do it). A year ago when we moved in I decided I wanted to build an entertainment / theatre room in my basement. Not sure I'll be able to afford the expensive projector for it this year but I can finish the remodeling part. Also i want to learn how to do this stuff, so hiring someone for anything but the electrical and maybe carpet is off limits.

2) Seal the floor in the garage - I like the look of a painted sealed floor.

Personal Goals

1) Take a vacation somewhere outside of Ohio or any state that borders Ohio. I haven't gone away on vacation (excepting our honeymoon) in a long time.  My wife and I really want to go to NYC or Vegas, which neither of us have ever been to.

2) Pay off my friends at Discover Card. I bought a lot of dumb crap in college and continue to do so.

3) Figure out a "diet plan" and stick to it, lose 10 lbs a month. This is quite possibly insane, and I probably wont pull off 120 lbs in a year but what the hell why not shoot for the moon. I hate the phrase diet because even I know there's no such thing as a fad diet that works. Its about discipline and consistency in eating, exercising and life style. However despite knowing this academically I have yet to actually accomplish it.

I suppose that's all for now. I liked John's reading list from his post but I'll save that for another update (2 per month now right?)

Do you have any plans for 2010 or do any of these "resolutions" ring true for you as well? That's what comments are for :-)