Technical New Year's Resolutions 2010

I try to do this every year by New Year's Eve, but I'm a little late this year! Reflecting on my 2009 PHP/technical New Year's resolutions, I ended up doing pretty well despite some unexpected challenges. Zend_Log_Writer_Mail made it into the standard library, so that takes care of my Zend Framework line item to some extent. I didn't propose anything new, though, but at least it's something!

My goal to write for php|architect was realized in October with the publication of "Make It Mobile with PHP and Open Source Tools."

I spoke at iPhone/Mobile Camp Atlanta 2009 with a modified version of “Rickroll To Go With WURFL, PHP, and Other Open Source Tools”, which was a great, low-stress speaking engagement. Hopefully it will take place again in 2010, because I'd love to participate again!

It's been a busy but productive year for work-related technical projects as I helped lead a team to re-launch a medium-scale B2B marketing site for a large cable television network. That went over with a great degree of success. In 2009, my project roles tended to lean more towards non-development leadership roles, such as Solutions Architect. Late in the year, I've been acting as the technical lead and a developer, which has been nice. It looks like I may get to do more architecture and development work in 2010, so that will be a nice shift in gears.

In June, our daughter, Madeline, was born, which was definitely the highlight of the year. Then in September, we were affected by the 2009 Georgia floods when our house in Austell, GA was flooded. Then came the reconstruction and all of the headaches that came with that. So, the last half of 2009 was a pun intended. :)

But, the horrible year of 2009 is now over! Looking forward to 2010, I've got a few things I want to tackle:

  • Get back on the conference circuit: I avoided travel in the first half of 2009 due to Madeline's arrival. I had planned to pick things back up in the last half of the year, but the flood kind of complicated those plans. Hence, I wasn't seen at ZendCon or php|works. I want to get back on the conference and speaking circuits in 2010 -- I need to write some new abstracts and manage to speak a few times. I'll be starting in May at Atlanta PHP, tentatively talking on profiling and optimizing PHP applications with JMeter and Xdebug.
  • Write another article: I'd like to maybe write another article, either for php|architect or some other development- or systems administration-centric magazine. Writing an article is relatively simple, and gratification comes much sooner than with, say, a large book. I enjoy using my learnings from the real world to help impart knowledge on the masses, even if it only helps a single person.
  • Branch out; learn a new language(s): I consider myself an advanced-to-expert PHP developer. I've focused on LAMP/OPAL development for eight years now. I'd love to dabble in other languages such as Java, Ruby, Python, and so on. I'm also very rusty with C and C++, and my Objective-C/Cocoa skills could use some more refinement. I need to set a goal to build a specific, simple application, and build it in as many languages as possible. The challenge with this is time -- I only have so much of it with work- and family-related commitments, but that's what late weekend nights are for, right? Right?
  • Release an iPhone app in the App Store: I've got at least a half a dozen iPhone apps at various stages of completion in my personal SVN repository. They're in need of more thorough ideas, or design, or a little bit of both. Once I hit a brickwall, I tend to lose momentum. This year, I need to barrel through those brickwalls and get something released to the public. I don't want to get rich; I just want to be able to take an app from start to finish. I dropped the ball on this in 2009, so it's time to commit to it and get serious. I may start off slow with a desktop app idea that needs to see the light of day.

So, here I am once again: starting a new year with a new set of resolutions. I can safely say that 2009 has been the most difficult year of my life, but I'm glad to see that it's over, even though it's been bittersweet.

With all of this behind me, I'm re-energized and looking forward to the new challenges that 2010 has in store. As long as they don't involve any natural disasters, I think I can get through this year.

Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you again for the support you have shown during the ups and downs of 2009, too. See you all in 2010.