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The theme this past year was growth through education. We’ve talked about things such as creating a lunch and learn culture at work, continuing education through attending and giving talks at conferences, and improving your memory. One topic we discussed early on that is important throughout your education and career is learning from your mistakes.
If you let it failure can devastate you as a developer and destroy a team’s morale. However if you allow yourself to experience failure and see it as an opportunity for learning and growth you will put yourself in the right mindset to achieve success.
The theme for next year is perception. We’ll focus on how we perceive the world around us and how those with whom we interact perceive us. Episodes will focus on different ways of thinking about problems and situations. Sometimes a change in perspective or how you perceive a situation can show a previously un-thought-of solution. While not all of our episodes will be about perception that will be the theme for the year.
Resolutions from 2019
Pay off new furniture and buy a new clothes washer/dryer.
I used my tax return to purchase a washer/dryer and paid off my furniture. Amanda even gave me her old deep freeze so I have one of them too.
Speak at 4 conferences this year.
CodeMash, Codeland, We Rock IT!, Music City Tech, Atlanta Code Camp. I submitted for several others where I didn’t get accepted. I’ve made several friends on the speaking circuit and will continue to submit.
Create and build a connected yet portable smart home system for my new place.
About half way through the year I met this amazing woman and I’ve spend most of my time with her and not tinkering with IoT stuff. I’ve also put a lot of focus into other creative endeavors. I joined the creatives and media (photography/videography) teams at church. So while this is something I still want to do I’ve had a change of focus.
Get down to the size I was in college.
I not only got to the size I was when I started but I’m down to the pant size I was when I was the most healthy. I haven’t lost much weight but my waist is thinner and my arms are thicker.
Build a home gym in my garage.
So I overestimated the amount of space in the garage. Once I put the washer/dryer in and cleared a space for my motorcycle, deep freeze, and bicycles there just isn’t enough space for any regular gym equipment. Also Amanda and I go to PF together and run into friends there all the time. The extrovert in me loves the social aspect of working out at the gym.
Write the story of my journey into development.
I turned it into a talk that I gave at Codeland and Music City Tech. My friend Alysha let me use her artwork as the slides for the presentation. It was great. I’ve started working on writing out a longer version of the story but may not restrict it to my journey into development. I want to make development a part of my story not the whole of the story.
Write and publish another book
Finished the draft the day before Thanksgiving. It’s a toss-up whether it will be “done, done” by the end of the year, but I did my part. My second book is on remote work and is being published through SimpleProgrammer.
Speak again at a conference this year.
Spoke at Microconf.
Get reasonably competent at .net core.
Used it at work – a lot. Currently using it now. Once Microsoft gets a couple of revisions out on something, it’s usually pretty easy to pick up.
Switch to linux completely.
Didn’t do it. There are a few things that don’t work for me and are preventing a move to Linux. One of those is that I’m concerned about drivers for the Scarlett I use to record. The other is I need support infrastructure – if something breaks, I need to be able to pay someone to fix it, rather than burning hours messing with configs.
Get back into wine making.
I have five gallons of pear wine and five gallons of dry red that I’ll be bottling soon.
Visit and call my parents more frequently.
This one didn’t work out as well. Mainly because they are still only barely moved in. It’s a bit rough getting up there as well.
Complete Developer Network
Publish our Recruiter book.
We did nothing on this book. We are likely to go back and review it possibly adding more to it and revising it. Will got a book deal and spent most of his time working on that. He also changed jobs. Beej got a girlfriend and was heavily focused on school.
Sponsorship for CDP.
We’ve had several sponsors but have a regular one since September.
Mentor program for Developer Launchpad.
We have been working on restructuring DL to focus more on the purpose of helping developers grow in their careers. More exciting things are coming this year.
Update our Live shows.
We updated it…by canceling it. Well canceling the regular show and only having live shows on special occasions.
Resolutions for 2020
- Finish the prereqs for grad school and start taking actual graduate level classes.
- Go on a long motorcycle ride.
- Find a mentor at work.
- Get on the worship team at church.
- Create and give a technical talk.
- Increase my artistic endeavors.
- Build something else.
- Get one or more of the Amazon or Azure cloud certifications.
- Continue with my writing habit.
- Get my angular skills up to par.
- Relax more.
- Try to get more money coming in from sources that other people don’t control as much.
Complete Developer Network
- Get our business license.
- Work more on our systems.
- Put more emphasis on the business side and interviewing in Developer Launchpad.
- Build up our mailing list.
Resolutions for the Decade
Since we are starting a new decade we’ve decided to do something a little different from past years. Every now and then you need to look at your long term goals and see if they are still viable and goals you want. Also check that you are moving toward them.
We’re going to talk about some of our long term goals. These are ones which we plan to accomplish within the 2020’s decade. As the years progress we’ll discuss our progress on these goals and have a review at the end of the decade.
BJ Longterm Goals
Finish graduate school.
My first long term goal is to complete graduate school. That means obtaining the master’s degree for which I’m currently attending and then going on to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
Move into some form of leadership or supervisory capacity.
I already assist my lead developer in a lot of capacities. I’m watching what all she does and what her manager does as well. While I see myself moving into more data science and predictive algorithms than line of business development I plan to be on the path to management.
In the next ten years I plan to become full remote and use that freedom to travel around the world. I’ve known a few people who have done this. The goal is to work during the day and the sight see at night and weekends.
Will’s Longterm Goals
Get back to self-employment and stay there.
0% of my problems in the last few years have been due to someone else having too much control.
Get back to writing fiction and publish a book.
Move more out of day-to-day tech and more into an advisory role.
While I still enjoy slinging code, I can do a lot more good looking at business processes and the like, rather than only focusing on code issues.
Complete Developer Network
Develop a training program for those interested in advancing their careers.
While the podcast will remain free we plan to develop coursework and tutorials that we can sell to those interested.
More joint ventures.
We want to set things up so that useful material can be had by our listeners at a discount.
Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change The World
“The world always seems brighter when you’ve made something that wasn’t there before.” ~ Neil Gaiman
The final section is titled “Make Good Art”. Gaiman talks about how as a writer he did not have a career plan but a list of accomplishments to achieve. He then goes on to explain that not knowing what you are doing allows you the freedom to find your limits and not be constrained by knowledge of “what is and is not possible.” He also talks about how you have to do things that lead you toward what you want to do. This also has to be balanced with taking care of physical necessities such as food and housing. He discusses staying focused on long term goals and not allowing attractive distractions to pull you from the path you are walking. Specifically he talks about editorial job offers that would have paid well but would have taken him further from his dream of being a writer and making a living via written word. Then he delves into dealing with failure as an artist. He also discusses the problems success can bring. While he doesn’t mention it specifically he talks about the golden handcuffs of successful high paying positions. Going along with the dealing with failure he talks next about making mistakes and learning from them. The name for one of his most popular books came from accidentally transposing the letters ‘O’ and ‘A’ in the the Caroline in an email. He finishes talking about enjoying the ride and not getting too caught up in the little things. “Make good art.”
Tricks of the Trade
Life is a sea, not a river. When you reach a short term goal, you should constantly be re-evaluating whether your longer-term goals are still what you want. I used to want to own a software development company with a huge staff – a few years of real industry experience led me to believe that that was horrifying and I want nothing to do with that now. Have long-term outcomes in mind, not means of getting there.