So here we are, starting yet another new year. Seems like I was just here, but when I look back at my archives I see that my only post in January of 2011 was for the 0.74 release of RPC-XML. So I wasn’t even as on-the-ball a year ago as I thought I was. And over the years I’ve gotten out of the habit of making elaborate resolutions for each new year. So this time around, I’m going to reflect a bit on high points of 2011, and ponder a bit about what I hope to do in 2012…
2011 was overall a pretty good year. It was my first full year at NetApp, after having done more job-hopping than I particularly liked to do in the years from 2006 to 2010. NetApp has been a really good place to be, both stable and challenging. I have good co-workers, and good management. Some high points of 2011 included:
- I snagged some kudos in the form of winning an internal friendly competition at NetApp for my work with Perl::Critic (a web interface similar to the one at perlcritic.com, but with some additional features, bells and whistles specific to NetApp’s needs).
- I was once again supported by my management to attend OSCON this past summer, which not only meant learning many new bits of tech but also meant seeing many friends I only see at the con.
- I made the leap from being a strictly Linux guy, to obtaining my first Apple Macbook (Pro). It has been (and continues to be) a quirky learning curve, but I’m happy with it. I don’t know if I’m more productive with it than I was with my Linux laptop, but I’m at least as productive, so (in theory) it can only get better as I get more accustomed to it.
- After being familiar with the module for some time, I finally made the leap of starting to use Devel::Cover on some of my code, which lead to some vast improvements in my testing suites (as well as flushing out numerous bugs along the way).
- I completed the online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class that Stanford offered this fall. It was an experiment in online learning that the Stanford engineering school was conducting, one of three courses offered during that time. As an experiment, it must have gone well as they are offering ten courses this coming term: CS 101, Machine Learning, Software as a Service, Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing, Game Theory, Probabilistic Graphical Models, Cryptography, Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, and Computer Security. I plan on following up the AI class with the ML class. I’d love to take about half of them, but I have to be realistic about the free time I have.
So that was 2011. What do I plan for 2012?
- Release my CPAN modules more frequently, which means working on them more than I currently do. Over on his blog, Mark Fowler has resolved to release a distribution to CPAN once a week, every week, throughout 2012. I won’t be doing that. But I can take from his thoughts on the matter some good direction and ideas, and I can apply those to how (and when) I choose to release.
- Do OSCON again. This may be tricky, as there has been a managements change in my organization. I don’t know yet if the new director of my org will feel the same way about education and training as the previous person did.
- Related (slightly) to the first point: Release at least two new CPAN distributions. I have the specific ones in mind; one is a complete re-write/re-organization of an existing distro of mine, the other is completely new.
- Finally get around to learning Clojure. I’ve been toying with it and tinkering with it to a very light degree, but this year I will buckle down and actually work my way through the entirety of one or more books on the language. Most likely starting with The Joy of Clojure.
- Oh, and of course write more often here. The AI class effectively killed my blogging for the last part of 2011, but judging from people’s reviews and feedback on the ML class I don’t expect it to so thoroughly take over my life as the AI class did. So even if some weeks I only manage to eke out a “module Monday” post, I hope to at least accomplish that much.
Not necessarily lofty goals there, I will admit. But I have also resolved to spend more time on my non-computing hobby, so I am not going to set myself up with resolution expectations that require me to practically sleep with the laptop to accomplish them. I’d rather set my expectations at a challenging-yet-reasonable level, and actually achieve them.
Here’s to the new year…