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What I plan to do this year to become a better coder!

Jan 6

Written by:
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 9:50 PM  RssIcon

Maybe you seen these types of blog posts before, so what, you ask, right?  They're kind of bogus New Year's resolutions which inevitably get broken/ignored/disregarded. :< Well, not only do I plan on consciously working on my list continually throughout the year, but I hope to report on my progress every once in a while to keep accountable (yup, trying to learn something from Agile :>).

I’m also hoping this posting gives you (veteran readers, all two of you :> or noobs to my site) a bit of a heads up on what type of blog posts I’ll be putting up!  And yes, I'll obviously put up code as well! :> 

Continue reading to see what things I'm planning on working on to become a better codehead, uh, coder.  If you like what you see, please come back for new and exciting posts!

In the past few years I've been doing C# and LOVING IT! :>  So much in fact I've

  • wrote a windows service synchronizing two contact databases using Web Services
  • converted my Linux/MySQL/WebLogic/J2EE websites over to Windows Server/SQL Server/IIS/C#
  • installed and maintain Dot Net Nuke (DNN) on my server for my sites/blog
  • participated in one Code Camp (did a presentation on Event Handling, I even had someone introduce themselves to me two months later totally out of the blue at a conference in another city who recognized me and said my presentation helped explain things, AWESOME!)
  • achieved one MS certification and working towards another
  • been to two major conferences (and had a blast! I LOVE learning and sharing what I've learned with others)
  • participated in three study groups (led two of them, helping around ten people achieve their Microsoft certifications)
  • create a website for the study group to help track attendance
  • joined a local user group (ODNC, if you're in the Ottawa, ON, please come by, it's very worthwhile)
  • started a blog (whch I thank you very much for reading :> I hope you continue)
  • learning about Agile
  • I was even confident in my skills to create a live (almost completely working) prototype for a job I was applying for!

So what's next?  hhhhmmmm someone once said to me (SG) "you have to beware someone who says they know everything about a language cause there's always something else to learn."  This is one guy I greatly admire and will have the fortunate opportunity to work alongside soon!  I can't wait!  So, since there's always more to learn, what am I going to focus on this year?  Here's an incomplete list (hey 12 months is a long time, things change :>) of things I really want to learn more about and hopefully share with you all the good'n'bad about what I find!  Keep tuned! :>



  Present at Ottawa Code Camp 2009
  Get my next MS certification (Web Apps)

Learn WPF/Silverlight/XAML so much that I become the Markus Egger of Ottawa (if you're doing WPF and haven't heard of this guy, you're missing out on some great info), ya, I know this is a "reach for the stars" kind of goal but nothing ventured, nothing gained (another other clichés I can mangle? :>)

  Start another study group, I have a bit of a training bug, this let's me fulfill that side of my personality
  Create a blog entry for creating/debugging/delivering a Windows Service (some juicy, time saving tips here!)
  Create two screen savers (just something I've always wanted to do, boring I know, but these will be slightly different, stay tuned!)
  Learn about unit testing with C#/VS
  Help people via blogs (something I'm starting to see now and I LOVE it when someone posts a comment saying my entry helped them, I LOVE THAT!)
  Learn more about patterns
  Install and expose sample code via SVN
  Learn to better recognize negative personalities, then to avoid them, to not let them sway my convictions and to seek out positive people to surround myself and family

So that's a start!  But what's the next step?  First, I have to write my web dev cert exam to get the next cert.  After that, I'm going to read CLR Via C#.  Then I'll raise my head from the keyboard to look around a bit.  But you can be safe to say it'll have something to do with WPF!  I hope you keep tuned for juicy blog entries!


References: Inspriation for this article:

What to Put on a Programmer Resume (Darryl K. Taft)

Joel Spolsky's website Joel On Software who was sited in Darryl's article

Joël Hébert, What I am doing to become a better software developer? (a fantastic and dynamic local presenter, when ever he speaks, people stop and listen!)

Justice Gray, Gray's Matter, How I am becoming a better developer, part 1 of infinity

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