Friday, 18 January 2013

So 2013 begins….

This post has been primarily delayed due to illness but also being very busy my new job.

Just like previous years I’m treating this as a retrospective on the previous year and planning for the year to come.

2012 goals

At the beginning of 2012 I set out the following headline goals I wanted to achieve:

  • Blog posts
  • Read books
  • Presentations
  • MVP
  • Coding

What did I achieve?

Blog posts

Well in 2011 I published 30 posts but in 2012 I only managed 19 posts which is a little disappointing, but interestingly the traffic to the blog increased by over 2000 visits so hopefully I’m doing something right.

My most popular post of the year was Is software craftsmanship a luxury most can’t afford? with 476 views.

Read books

I had a very long list of books that I wanted to read but I only managed to read 6 and post a review of 2 of those. My hope is to try and post reviews of the other books I read during last year and any books I read this year.


Although I’ve come up with some ideas I ended up only created 1 new presentation this year “Inversion of Control containers Vs hand rolled - how they compare” which I got to present at DDD10.


At the beginning of the year I spent some time looking into the MVP program, there was the post by Rob Eisenberg about why he turned down an MVP and then other posts about how good it was to be one and posts such as Brent Ozars’s about what being an MVP meant.

So I now have a fairly good idea about what the MVP program is about and a better understanding of how you could be awarded an MVP.  For now I think its safe to say I won’t be getting an MVP any time soon so am going to park this goal.


Last year I split my coding goals in to “will do” and “nice to do”

Will Do

Concerted effort to finish the OSS project I started about 2 years ago

Complete failure on this, I never managed to even open the project the entire year.  I haven’t given up on this and am

Improve my JavaScript

I did manage to do a little bit of JavaScript but not to the level that I had envisaged and unfortunately for me in the last year the number of JavaScript frameworks seems to have exploded so there’s so much more I need to learn.

Continue working on my ADO.NET DAL

I never managed to large changes I wanted to make but did manage some minor changes to the internals for people that wanted to use it in an actual product.

Nice to do


Although I didn’t publish a package publically I did in work, configuring TeamCity as a local NuGet server to be used through out the team which was almost effortless to set up and very easy to use.

Learn PowerShell & Learn Python

I never managed to get to either of these items although its still on my ‘wish list’

Develop WP7 apps

I attended a WP7 phone camp in January and I did create a WP7 app, Math Power a maths based game, which to date has been downloaded 1342 times which I’m very happy with. 

What else?


During last year I ended up changing jobs twice having 3 different jobs over the course of the year.  This wasn’t planned at all and has ultimately lead me to being a contractor so I’m sure that work wise 2013 is going to be interesting.


During the year I was lucky enough to be selected to present at both DDD Southwest 4, DDD 10 and DDD North 2 as well as at NxtGen Southampton and Dot Net Developers Network.  As always I really enjoy doing these presentations and value any feedback I can get about how they went.

I have also been involved in some development work for a user group which I hope may get to see the light of day during 2013.

Continuous Delivery

If I’m totally honest I’m really chuffed at managing to set up a continuous delivery pipeline at one of my jobs this year which meant code was pulled from DVCS, built, tested and deployed to a test environment.  What makes this different from what I’ve done previously is that it also included database deployment as well and I aim to blog about the technology used in the not too distant future.

This year…

In the same vein as the immortal words of “Stars in their eyes”…this year Matthew I’m going to be looking to:

Make better use of personal time

Looking back over what I’ve done last year I can see that in my spare time I tend to focus on just one thing which is why when I’m doing my own development I don’t write blog posts, read books or watch training video’s.  So this year to try and get more done I know I’m going to have balance out what I do which may mean that it takes longer to finish things off but at the same time I hope to keep things moving and not appear to “go dark”.

Learn JavaScript

I’m making this one of my primary goals for the year, JavaScript is here to stay and anybody involved in web development will need to know all about it, main stream libraries e.g. jQuery and related technology i.e. TypeScript, CoffeeScript, etc.  I have already watched a Pluralsight course on knockout.js and plan to watch more along with a selection of books to read.

Investigate Software Craftsmanship

I am going to continue my investigation of software craftsmanship by working through the further reading list and to continue blogging my thoughts about it.

As part of this I may attempt to set up a local craftsmanship group to be able to try and meet up with other people for discussion and writing code.  My main impediment for this is a venue so if I manage to remove that I will be looking to pursue this further.


After 2 years of inactivity I need to either push on with my OSS project or ditch it since if its not out there solving a problem its just waste.

Again I have ideas around my ADO.Net DAL that I want to pursue and if I can find time I may look at doing so.


Compared to last year I have massively reduced my goals having only 4 goals, I’ve decided that reading books, writing blog posts and writing presentations are things that I’m just going to do and as such I’ve removed them as goals. 

As always if a user group would like me to do a presentation give me a yell and lets see what we can arrange.

I’m hoping my more focused goals will allow me to make progress with them and be able to achieve more than I did last year.

So that’s what I’m doing, what are you planning on doing in 2013? what are your goals?

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