Resolutions for 2016

I’ve written up a list of career-related resolutions the past few years. I’ve been pretty successful meeting those goals, so I’m going to continue the tradition.

Coding

I want to increase the Open Source code I write this year. That’s basically everything I write that’s not directly related to work.

I took over maintenance of Virtus late last year, but haven’t done a good job at finding the time for that. That’s probably more responding to issues on GitHub and merging pull requests. But eventually, I’ll likely add some features and do some refactoring.

My goal is to work on 6 apps and libraries this year. That’s a pretty aggressive goal, but I want to focus on both learning new things and building some simple but useful things. Think MVP — focus on getting a lot of bang for not too much effort.

I want to work on a new Rails app, to familiarize myself with Rails 5. I want to get some experience with some more modern gems. I also want to see if I can use some new techniques with a Rails app, especially things that might help us get closer to a hexagonal architecture. I’m also hoping to work with some different web frameworks — maybe Lotus, Rodakase, Trailblazer, or Phoenix. Or maybe one of the Crystal web frameworks.

I also want to work on a couple Elm apps. I started the STL Elm group as an excuse to learn the language. I’d like to work on a Twitter client, that might eventually turn into a more general reading app. Beyond Twitter, it would keep track of things I want to read. The other Elm app I’d like to write is a game, based on the old Space Taxi game I loved to play on the Commodore 64.

I wrote a micro-ORM last year called Ruby Preserves. I’ve started converting that from working with raw SQL to sitting atop the awesome Sequel gem. The simplicity is still there so far, and basing it on Sequel has so far gone easier than I expected. But I haven’t figured out how to do relationships (JOINs) yet; that will be the real test.

Conferences

I’m pretty happy with my 2015 conference experience. I want to keep my conference level about the same. I don’t really want to commit to more talks than I gave last year. Conference presentations take a lot of time and energy to write and practice.

I’m planning to go to RailsConf, RubyConf, and Strange Loop. I’m hoping to give a talk at each of those, if I can. But I’ll probably attend all of them even if I’m not speaking. I’m also submitting a talk to Agile 2016. I’m unlikely to go to any other conferences, and even more unlikely to give more than 4 conference talks.

Writing

I really want to finish my Effective Agile book this year. I’m going to try to pull Amos in to pair with me on it occasionally, to move it forward. If I’m able to get it done, I’d also like to maybe write a book on Elm.

I actually want to do less blogging this year. Well, sort of. I want to put coding and book writing ahead of blogging. If that means less blogging, I’m okay with that. So my goal for blogging is more like every other week. And when I do write a blog article, I’d rather it be related to some code I’m working on, something that I could use in my book, or some more in-depth thoughts about programming language design.

Job Hunting

The contract I recently started at CenturyLink Cloud is open-ended, so I’ll likely be there for the entire year. I’m enjoying it so far; it’s a challenge, but I think I can make a significant impact. However, I’m really interested in moving to San Francisco in 2017. So I’m going to work on preparing for that in several ways.

I’m going to resurrect my LinkedIn account. I’ve neglected it for a few years now. I’ll make sure everything is up to date, and make some connections I’ve been putting off. I also want to reclaim my Stack Exchange and Hacker News accounts.

I’m going to pay a an expert to help me revamp my résumé. I think it’s pretty decent, but it could use some freshening up. I want it to stand out. I want to do a better job of explaining what I really do — which is to join a team to help them improve their processes and their technical skills.

I’ll also need to clean up all my web sites, so they look nice when people come to take a look at them. This includes my personal site, consulting business site, wiki, and blogs. I should also upgrade my server to the latest version of Debian, and use Ansible and some other tools to provision it using the principles of Infrastructure as Code.

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