Some of My Goals for 2010

January 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

My Own Top Five Technical Goals

1.  Diversify! It’s time to put some energy into some new projects.

2.  Learn something new.  This list could be one of its own.  At the top of that list would probably be mobile development.  I have plenty of good ideas.  Time to execute.  There are also a lot of new .NET development tools I’d like to get my hands on.  I want to read more on design methodologies, web 2.0, and usability as well.

3.  Get some real agile training and learn how to be a better lead on a development project.

4.  Seriously consider starting my own business.  I was really encouraged by a recent post from Jason Cohen.  Part of this consideration process will be to educate myself more on startups.

5.  Find a way to fund some or all of my Top Five Gadgets I Cannot Afford But Want Really Bad.

Which leads me to…..

Top Five Gadgets I Cannot Afford But Want Really Bad

1.  A Droid.

2.  An iPhone.

3.  Either a tablet (iSlate?) or a netbook.  In red.

4.  Wireless speakers to play internet radio throughout my house.

5.  A Garmin watch.

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§ 2 Responses to Some of My Goals for 2010

  • Jason Cohen says:

    Want some unsolicited advice? :-)

    Corresponding to your numbers above:

    1. In an age where everywhere you look people say “focus focus focus,” I agree it’s still good to diversify too. I guarantee if you try your hand at a new business you’ll learn a ton of new, weird things.

    2. I say: Pick one of those things and try brining a new product to market. Learning new things == good; playing with multiple platforms but not really sinking your teeth in == not so good. Note that you don’t REALLY learn how something works until you spend a lot of time with it in the real world on real projects, and probably you don’t have the time to do that on multiple fronts.

    3. Forget “training.” Agile is a mindset and a set of principles more than anything. In my experience people “trained” for agile are no more productive or effective than those who take a strong interest in the concepts and apply where it makes sense to them. Read a book or two and get going. Follow 1-5 blogs on Agile and/or Lean to drip ideas into your head and get going.

    4. Hooray! :-)

    5. Easy — just make the first goal of your business to pay for the gadgets. That’s a perfectly reasonable goal, especially if you’re going to do the startup while still employed. Note that you can WRITE OFF those gadgets as a business expense — because you’ll use them to test ideas, and because things like “speakers” are in fact valid expenses — so that makes the purchase price 30% cheaper (roughly… depends on marginal tax bracket etc..)

    BTW if you’re subscribed to my blog watch for a piece coming up in the next few months about starting up while at work — probably is very relevant to your plans.

    Good luck!

    • jenboyd105 says:

      Excellent advice and encouragement – thank you! You’re right about #3 and agile training. There is so much good, free info out there. I’ll be subscribing to some agile blogs today.

      Based on your advice, I should stick with the Microsoft platform and put some energy behind a new product using the technology I know. Makes sense.

      One of the things I love about working in IT is the opportunity to work in multiple industries. I’ve developed products for retail, energy, and financial consumers. I’ve been torn between continuing to float from industry to industry or deepening my understanding of one of my choosing. Opportunities exist to learn and grow in both. Maybe I can do both and it’s not an either/or situation – learn another industry via my startup and become more knowledgeable and create better products in the one I’m in. I do subscribe to your blog and look forward to your post on starting up while at work. I hope you’ll address that tension, conflicts of interest, and time management.

      Thanks again for taking time to respond!

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