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Out with the old, in with the new

This is a short post, partly for self-reflection, partly for you to enjoy. In the beginning of 2013, I decided for myself that instead of attending to speaker sessions on a certain technology, I would spend that time actually using said technology.

In the past, I found a lot of user group sessions in my area (Belgium) to be somewhat lacking. Great if you know absolutely nothing about the subject, but often it was a repetition of things I already (more or less) knew. I grew somewhat disappointed in these session, with certain exceptions (Kevin Derudder comes to mind, he gives good sessions but there are others of course).

Instead of attending a session on [insert your favorite technology/platform here], why not dive head first into it? Make something, fix the bugs you introduced, hack your way through it, write dirty code you’ll fix later, grind your teeth on that obscure problem for hours,… I was sure this would be much more educational and with luck, I could have a finished product (i.e. publish something) at the end.

Now, at the end of 2013, I can look back and see I’ve published three apps:

I’ve learnt quite a lot: basic Android development, Windows Phone camera, Twitter and OAuth, etc. What’s more, I’ve learnt what it means to publish to a store, get the required artwork ready, fix bugs and support a finished product, etc. There’s also some pride in having your app out there.So I’m happy that personal goal was met.

On a sidenote: I’m not against user groups and speaker sessions. They can also be a great networking and/or meetup event. I will certainly attend some in the future, but just not as much as I used to.2014 will probably not bring 3 new apps. There are enough ideas in my head, but I think I will spread my time differently.

Personal goals for 2014 are:

  • Acquire 2 more Microsoft certifications: I personally don’t believe in certifications (although I have learnt certain things from them), but as a consultant, it does help my employer to “sell” me. I do get benefits in return, so this seems fair to me.
  • Find and follow a good training: at Team4Talent (my employer), there’s a new system for training where you get credits. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s much more clear than in the past how much you can spend and why. This is a good thing and I intend to use it. If anyone knows anything good, let me know!Write an SPA (I already have an idea/need)
  • Finetune pwa.js (which I wrote about earlier)
  • Finetune FlitsLogo
  • Migrate my blog to something better. I’m seriously considering Ghost and (thanks to my colleague Tim).
  • Maybe, just maybe, write a Drupal module: Gentle Ultimate, my Ultimate Frisbee team could use a certain custom-made module. I expect this to be a challenge, as I have no PHP experience.
  • Finish my course on zythology (beer! Link is in Dutch)
  • Try out kitesurfing

When I look at the list, I’m doubtful I will be able to realize all this. But I already made some priorities for myself. It will be interesting to read this post at the end of 2014 and see what I accomplished.

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