This is my last post of the year and almost forgot to publish it.
It seems 2008 really sailed by, but I tend to say that every year. I am not the kind of person who makes New Year?s resolutions, I have enough things going on that I don?t need to add more pressure to myself. I usually spend part of my last day of the year just looking back at accomplishments, bother personally and professionally and wonder if I should have handled things a bit differently.
This year is no different. I don?t post on this blog about my personal life and I won?t start now, so that leaves the professional side of my life and looking back and also looking ahead.
I have posted more this year than in previous years and the blog has gotten more popular with Google searches finding my blog in many cases. I also have a lot more followers at this point compared to last year. My goal is not to gauge success by the number of subscribers but by the number of folks who find my content useful. I receive a fair number of comments with ?Thank you?, so I think I am succeeding at that level.
I plan to post more this year with better articles. I think more detail articles focused on software engineering and project management which may be more technology agnostic. Only time will tell.
I have really gotten to like Twitter more and use it more, along with getting value you out of it. I have built many more relationships on Twitter than I have ever built with my blog. Twitter has such a personal, interactive level to it that you don?t get by reading a blog. The interaction is priceless.
I reach a milestone of 2400 updates on Twitter, not sure what that means but a couple hundred updates per month which shows I am active. I also reached 300 followers and I cut the people I follow down to about 300 as well. It is hard following so many people as the conversations get lost, in my opinion. I would like to gain more followers though and widen my audience but this seems like a steep hill to climb and not sure how some people get so many followers. Maybe they have more interesting things to say.
I have gotten a lot out of Twitter so I will continue to use it, posting things I find interesting and have the occasional dialog with friends.
Please follow me on Twitter.
I have been an independent software developer for the past 2-1/2 years and really like the ability to work from home on projects I find interesting. Consulting is not all glory, you have to look for the next project all the time and even as I write this, my next project is unknown. Today is the last day of my current main project and I have been bad at finding my next one.
Most of my work even before consulting, has been .NET project writing C# ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications. I have to admit my interest in .NET has diminished over the past year and I think it is time to move on to other types of projects. I have been doing a fair amount of Ruby and Ruby on Rails and think this may be the next career stop, to pursue only these type of projects. C# has grown stale for me and it is time to be packed away.
I can?t really point at any particular reason why .NET has lost its draw for me, I think it is a bunch of different reasons. My work with C# over the past 5 years shows a pattern, mostly boring business applications with little excitement. Sure, this is not the fault of C# but bigger companies seem to be chose a language like C# and stick to it. These bigger companies have business problems to solve, hence the rather boring applications.
I also think the .NET community has really gotten to me as well, it seems to have a lot of complainers as well as a lot of podium folks who think they are better than they really are and it shows. This is probably not limited to .NET but since I have been so into it in the past years, it is painfully there everyday. My involvement with Ruby with the community so much smaller doesn?t seem to be evident.
My background in software engineering should lead me to greener pastures, hoping to be able to put .NET behind me and only work with Ruby and Rails as Mike Gunderloy and many other have done.
I have done some work this year on some open source projects and enjoyed this immensely. I plan to contribute to some Ruby-related projects this coming year, nothing concrete but plan on helping out.
I am involved with a startup, that at this time I can?t say much about, but have two other folks I am working with on this. The teaser is at our future home, UDSLR.com. Check it out and keep checking back, we are planning to launch in the Spring. I will be using this blog to write about some of the technical challenges we face once the project is more public. By the way, this is a Rails project.
I am also working a couple other ?side? project which are not worth mentioning now but are also Rails projects.
I am have been writing for InfoQ for just over a year now, which has been a great experience. As part of my removal from .NET work I have stepped down as a .NET editor for InfoQ so my daily thoughts are not polluted by .NET writing. I am a Ruby Editor only at this point and plan to step up with more writing related to Ruby in 2009.
The Professional IronRuby book has dragged on even with a total of 3 authors. It seems IronRuby has not evolved the way we had originally hoped, it has taken on a very Microsoft-ish feel and appears to be more of a glue language for .NET instead of a really nice Ruby implementation on the CLR. I could be wrong a year from now but not sure what Microsoft really plans with this language other than mangling it for its own use. Therefore, I don?t know the status of the book or if it will ever come out with the three of us as writers. I don?t want to write about yet more .NET.
It really has been a good year professionally. I have a much clearer path for myself headed into 2009. I have a better idea of the types of projects I would like to be part of, the types of people I want to work with and the types of problems I would like to be part of solving. I don?t have a clear way to get there but good things usually rise to the surface and present themselves at opportune times. I am looking forward seeing what comes to the top.
I want to keep learning and keep building my network of really smart people. I will attend more conferences this year to help accomplish both.
Also, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to listen (read) what I have to say as you have so many other choices. I am opinionated and probably come across here or on Twitter as brash at times, I am not actually, I am just passionate about doing good things and spending my time well. We only have so much time in our lives to do things that are important to us and we enjoy doing and we should be doing those things. If you hate getting up every day and doing the work you do?it is time to look for a change.