My 2010 Goals

Happy New Year all!  I meant to write this blog last week but was too busy to do it.  It has been a snowy start to the new year.  Shoveling has taken the time I wanted to spend writing this post.  I am already behind in my goals, not a good way to start the year.  I will have to work hard to catch up.  That should not be too much of a problem now that the rush of the holidays are over.  I hope that everyone had a great time over the holidays.

Public Gardens 007

So, what are my goals for the new year. I won’t call them resolutions because I want to work on them all year long.  Resolutions seem to fall by the way side after January. 

Goal #1

Become a better developer.  I am continually striving to learn the trades of my craft. 

Steps to reach goal:

  • – Keep up reading technical books: I like to keep one technical book going at all times. My goal is 12 books.
  • – Attend local user groups: There are many user groups in the area.  I will try to regularly attend some of them.
  • – Attend Conferences:  I plan on attending local conference like the MSDN Northeast Road Show and others.  I also hope to convince my boss to send me to TechEd 2010.  I made some good friends and learned a lot at PDC 2009 and want to continue this momentum.
  • – Actively blog:  I plan on posting 12 substantial coding blogs this year.  I was able to reach my goal that I set towards the end of last year.  I figure one a month is a good start to blogging.  In the past my blogging has fallen to the wayside, not this year.
  • – Improve Technical Design skills:  I want to work on my technical documentation writing skills.  I hope to learn how to develop UML diagrams in MS Visio and incorporating them into my documents
  • – Contribute to an Open Source project:  I have committed to help on Jesse Liberty’s Hyper Video Project.  This will help improve my Silverlight skills.  This step flows into my next goal.
Goal #2

Get move involved in the local developer community.  This will help me with my first goal.  There is an active community in the Boston area.  I need to take advantage of the networking and comradery that this community offers.

Steps to reach goal:

  • – Present at local user group:  I have committed to present at a local user group in the coming months.  I want to do four presentations this year.
  • – Become active in community forums:  I want to become more active by responding to posts in community forums (i.e. StackOverflow, Silverlight Forum).  My goal is to respond to 24 messages.  This is a small start and if I find I have reached this goal early in the year I may adjust (up only) the number.
  • – Produce a demo video:  I have always wanted to do this.  I think that it will be fun.  I am going to try and do 1 video this year.  If this works out then maybe more for next year.
  • – Be more vocal on social network sites:  I should be more vocal with my thoughts and opinions in sites like Twitter.  I am not going to commit to a specific number of tweets but I should tweet everyday!
Goal #3

Increase my ‘soft’ skills. All to often developers concentrate on their technical skills and forget to sharpen the ‘soft’ skills.  These days developers are taking on more and more responsibilities. With these responsibilities comes the need to tap into more of these skills. 

Steps to reach goal:

  • – Better time management:   I am pretty good about managing my time but there are areas where I can definitely improve.  One of those areas is task time estimation.  I need to tighten my estimates on how long I think something is going to take.
  • – Better interaction with stakeholders:  I recently took over a Tech Lead position in my organization which puts me in more contact with non-technical stakeholders.  I need to improve my communication skills when it comes to conveying technical concepts to not techies. 
  • – Take more an active role in project management:  I have a MS in Management with a specialization in Project Management.  I need to keep those skills up  to date and provide more feed back into the process
Goal #4

My personal goals.  To remain well rounded I need to have some personal goals to strive for.  The key here is family, health, and happiness.

Steps to reach goal:

  • – Increase work/life balance:  My daughter is now 15 months old and boy did those months fly by.  I want to make sure that I take the time to enjoy her formative years.  I want to be there for all the ‘firsts’.  I need to strive to ensure that I balance my work time, my personal development time, and my family time.  My goal is to spend more time with my wife and daughter.
  • – Shed the weight:  Since I have left the military I have put on a few pounds.  I have also stop being as active.  Now is the time to get back into shape and to shed the excess weight.  So the goal is to loose (and keep off) 40lbs.  I think that is a reasonable goal for the year.
  • – All work and no play blah blah blah:  When I am not spending time working, professionally developing, and enjoying family, I need to take some time and enjoy life.  I enjoy going to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox.  I hope to make it to 3 games this year.

So there here it is written in 1’s & 0’s for all the world to see.  I will post updates, periodically, tracking the progress I am making towards my goals.  Stay tuned!

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