Friday, September 07, 2007

Being a better developer

I know what you're saying, "Yo Mack!, why you no post?"  Well, that's a tough one to answer.  Let's just say that I'm lazy. 

Today I'll be responding to the uber blog meme on what I will do over the next 6 months to become a better programmer.  I know a lot of folks don't like "list" posts.  To them I say, just be glad I'm not numbering them.

Pick up a new OS - I feel that this is very important as more and more of our user base is moving from Windows to something else.  I have chosen Linux, Ubuntu specifically.  I chose this over a Mac for several reasons.  It's more accessible to me, it appeals more to my techy/nerdy side, and we all know what happened to Mac at the end of Jeepers Creepers

Learn a cross platform language - Once again with the cross platform thing. Here I'm going with Ruby. It is elegant and has a lot of great features.  Microsoft if also writing a .Net version, IronRuby, that will be useful in Silverlight development.  I'm hoping to create a few cross platform applications, not web apps, that will actually be useful.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Linq, Linq, Linq - Seriously folks, this is where its at.  I've been taking the LinqPad Challenge for the last couple of weeks and plan to continue for the next few months. It's great, I'm actually getting a handle on Linq to SQL queries.  Let's take the challenge together, shall we?

Presentations - I am admittedly the worst presenter/public speaker that I can imagine.  Miss South Carolina has me beat, hands down.  However, I find a way to do it anyway.  Presenting increases your communication skills, boosts your confidence and is a great way to trick your peers into thinking that you actually know what you're doing.  I'm planning on doing some research on presenting skills and applying them more often. I'm even looking into doing a screencast or two.

GTD - I'm a big proponent of Life Hacking.  So I'm going to continue finding great ways to save time.  I can tell you from personal experience that hacks like Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero can really save you time and peace of mind.

This isn't a comprehensive list, but it is stuff that I think is important.  What things will you be doing to become a better developer over the next few months?  I'll check in with you next year.

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