Since it’s almost two weeks into 2014, I took a little time to think about the things I want to accomplish from a learning standpoint. Last year, I learned quite a bit: Asp.Net MVC, Design Patterns, Cloud Tools, Startup Engineering, and much more. As much as I’ve learned, I can’t help but think I could’ve done more. With that in mind, I created the following list of concepts and learning materials I want to explore and focus my effort on in 2014.
There are so many great new tools to master and books to read about for software development that it was hard to pare down my list to something manageable. The aim of this training is improve in terms of writing clean, efficient, and correct code, something all developers strive for. With that in mind, I’ll be working on mastering Test Driven Development, getting deeper into functional programming languages (via The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, brushing up on algorithms, and playing with any new web/mobile technology that looks interesting. This training will be the least structured but will definitely be the deepest.
Design is something that I’ve always wanted to learn more about but never quite commit enough time to get great at it. There are a couple of major works that I want to get through. The first is a new Udacity course called “The Design of Everyday Things” which launched in January 2014. The course is based on Don Norman’s classic book, The Design of Everyday Things. I’ve watched a lot of the videos from it already (it’s good stuff), just need to work through the exercises. My second goal is to finally set aside a couple of hours to read Don’t Make Me Think. Using the knowledge mined from these tasks, I’ll simplify and improve everything I create.
I didn’t post nearly as many posts here on jpniederer.com as I planned to this year. This site was originally created with the intention of writing one post a week. Maybe this goal was a little too ambitious, but I’m sure that it was doable. 2014 will be much more voluminous. As a way of building on what was done last year and my original goal, I’m aiming to post an article every other week in 2014 making for a net target of 26 posts next year.
What good is working through online courses, books, and examples if you aren’t releasing anything? Not a whole lot! That’s why I will publish at least two creations in 2014. Maybe I’ll make two sites, maybe I’ll make an API and a new mobile app, or I’ll do something else entirely. The products could be anything really. All that matters is that I release some original creations and put my new knowledge into practice.
Guitar is the one instrument that I’ve always wanted to learn. I’ve attempted, unsuccessfully, to learn half a dozen times or so but this year will be different! I’ve purchased Rocksmith 2014 for both PS3 and PC and also a new electric guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul, and I’m finally ready to really pick it up. I’ve been playing a couple of hours every day. The blisters on the tips of my fingers are proof that I’m making progress.
So that’s the plan for now. I’m sure I’ll complete a lot of these tasks, I’ll probably miss on a few too, but I’ll continuously be moving forward. The quickest way to become obsolete is to stop learning, and that’s not going to happen to me.
Published on 1/11/2014 10:29:25 AM