Planning for 2010

04 Jan 2010

In my previous post I looked at 2009 in hindsight. Consequently, in this one I look ahead at 2010 and what I want to accomplish professionally this coming year. I don’t plan on anything too esoteric. Instead, I want to consolidate my skills around building web applications with C#.

My goals for the coming year are:

  • Focus more on architecture and design. Not in the architecture astronaut connotation. But as in becoming more aware of how to build better software. I want to apply the SOLID principles more consciously and re-read classics such as Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software and Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture.
  • Continue exploring LINQ. It’s a fascinating technology that’s going to get only more pervasive in years to come. Truly understanding LINQ is key to getting into the habit of applying a more functional and succinct style to my own code. To get started on this endeavor I’m going to read and apply LINQ in Action.
  • Learn Entity Framework. Using an object-relational mapper should be second-nature to any developer. In the past the light-weight LINQ to SQL has served me well. Still, I want to step up and learn how Entity Framework deals with the impedance mismatch. I want to write an application that uses Entity Framework.
  • Become better at browser technologies. JavaScript and jQuery are high on the list, but I want to improve on HTML and CSS as well. My goal isn’t to become an HTML or CSS Jedi. I simply want to have enough knowledge to avoid making rookie mistakes. The technologies all come together in jQuery, making Learning jQuery a good starting point. Besides, I want to use a tool like Firebug to learn from others.
  • Be on top of SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2007 and 2010 is what I want to work with daily. That doesn’t imply me not keeping up to speed with the rest of .NET. Just that SharePoint will act as my gateway to other technologies. The great thing about SharePoint is that development is often split between working inside and outside SharePoint.
  • Become more involved in higher-level development decisions. By the end of the day, developers don’t deliver software, they deliver value to stakeholders. Writing code is but a means to that end. I want to be involved in all steps from conception to completion.

To me these points strike a good balance between technical and non-technical goals and between short and long term goals. However, by the end of the day, building great software is about being attentive to the entire stack and its surroundings.