At least that is what I want it to be.

After writing a quick review of what I’d been up to in 2010 I thought it would be a good idea to look to the year ahead. I might be being overly ambitious but there is a lot I want to do in 2011. To make it harder for me to push it aside I’m going to write it down – a contract with myself and as my Dad would make me say “if I don’t do it I’ll only be cheating myself.”

There are a few overriding themes for the year, which I’ll go in to in more detail later on. They are:

  • make a commitment to become a good web designer/developer and improve considerably on my current ability.
  • to do more stuff, work related as well as socially.
  • to rediscover my creative spark

The final theme is extra important to me, I have always had a creative side but I feel that I have let it slip over the last few years (hangs head). I should have stuck to my guns and not let some people influence me. Anyway enough of that, on to the detail.

The Detail

Firstly, I need to be a better developer. A better developer for other developers to work with. A better developer that is more productive, and a better developer that makes more cooler stuff.
That’s broadly speaking but a few specifics to help me along the way would be:

  • Get better, and more disciplined, at using version control systems, git in particular. TiddlySpace is hosted on github so I’m not completely new to it but I am in no way proficient with it. I am getting the hang of it, this tutorial from Nettuts helped, as has Tower which provides a nice UI for it (it is currently in beta though). I have recently started to migrate some of my personal projects to it too.
  • Get more adept with the terminal so that little scripts to aid productivity can be written. Learn to customise the development tools I use (currently TextMate) to match my own development style. I want to give Vim ago at some point too.
  • Become a more experienced developer. This can be broken down into two parts, one, learn more about the languages I use and could use, and two, develop more. More domain knowledge and more hands on experience. The main language I use is Javascript so this is where my main focus will be. Working on the Javascript heavy TiddlyWiki and TiddlySpace projects will help with this a lot.

High on the agenda for the early part of this year is work on colmjude.com, my site. I need to revamp the area where I post my experiments and demos, there needs to be more of these anyway. I need to (finally) create a suitable theme for this blog, and I want to start work on my portfolio.

I will be doing more blogging this year. To make sure I do I’ve decided to do the WordPress challenge, not the one a day version which is a bit excessive but the one post per week one. Once a week will be hard enough as I’ve found this week, the 2nd week.

I hope forcing myself to blog more often will help me become better at it and help my writing, which can be questionable. A lesson I need to learn is that every blog post doesn’t need to be really long. At the moment once I start a post I can’t stop writing. More and more just dribbles out.

I hear about something new (in my world at least) pretty much every day. So many things that it can be a bit overwhelming. This year I plan to pick my battles better and actually experiment and play with some of these things. For starters I want to spend some time exploring some NoSQL implementations, such as, CouchDB and MongoDB. Furthermore, I want to start looking at server side javascript, in particular Node.js.

That’s most of the work related plans I have for now but what about things outside of work?

Well, as I said earlier one of the things I want to do is rediscover my creative side. To help me achieve this I am going to do something creative everyday. Be it take a photo or sketch something, I don’t know exact what but I’ll try something like that each day. I’ll keep you updated on this. My current favourite app – Instagram – will help me with this is. And once they release a developer’s API I’ll be able to share them on here.

Next up is a promise to get into shape. Since moving to London I seem to be very busy most of the time and the first thing to be sacrificed has been keeping fit and doing sport. The fact I’m currently not playing football, unlike in Ipswich, hasn’t helped either. I need to think of a way to incentivise myself. Hmmmm.

Yo va aprender mas español. When I travelled around South Amercia (you can read an extremely boring blog written for my parents if you want) I learnt a lot of Spanish. When I got back I said to myself that I would continue learning and practicing. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened. It should. Tengo que practicar más

Right, that’s enough for now. As you can see I am going to be a busy bee so can’t carry on waffling on here. Bye for now.