I like having a roadmap, it’s a great way to focus your mind towards a goal. Personally I find that it’s also a great way to practice brainstorming, scope management, estimation and execution. So, here’s my list of developer type things that I plan to achieve in 2013.
- learn git
- I’ve used both Subversion (SVN) and Mercurial (HG) for years, and I don’t regret my time spent with either of these systems. However, it seems that at the moment git is the cat’s ass in terms of version control, especially for open-source projects. I have very minimal experience with git, having only really used it to check out a copy of an open-source project for use in an application that I’m working on.
- launch an app that generates money
- Building an application is easy, and I truly believe that anybody with access to a computer can do it. Building an application that other people use, and are willing to pay money for, is a whole different bag of rice and requires a different set of skills. By building something that generates actual dollars, I’ll bet exercising skills that most developers that are working at a job don’t get a chance to do, which will make me a better overall developer.
- publish some open source code
- As DHH just recently said on the Giant Robots Smashing into other Giant Robots podcast, “If you limit your exposure enough, anybody can be the best at anything” (or something like that). I now strongly feel that by putting my work out there for other smarter than me people to see, I’ll become a smarter and better developer. Or, I’ll learn that I actually am the smartest developer out there… (incredibly unlikely)
- write automated tests for most of my code
- 2012 clearly indicated to me that automated tests add a ton of value to a codebase, both in terms of overall design and maintainability. For code that I now have tests for, I’m so much faster at making changes with confidence, allowing me to get more done than I have ever done before. In 2013 I want to keep this going, so that in the end I can get more done.
- find a mentor
- At GrantStream Inc. I am one of the most senior developers on the team (7 years). In order for me to continue to grow and learn, I feel that I need to learn from developers that have both more and different experience than I do. As a start, I’ll be adding my name to the list over at phpmentoring.org.
Do you have any developer-focused goals for 2013? Anything you think I should add to this list for myself? Let me know in the comments.