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Coding Towards Utopia...by Rob Reynolds
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Rob Reynolds

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I manage several open source projects. Need...
   ...package management for Windows?
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My End of Year Roadmap to Becoming a Better Person (and Developer)

Recently I was tagged by Russ on the Justice Gray challenge.



Something I have been attempting over the last few years is to be healthier.  What does that mean? Well for my wife and I that means making healthier decisions when we eat.  We find the good substitutes.  Over the past two years we realize that is not enough.  A healthy diet is a good step in the right direction, but you need that level of exercise to be the catalyst for a healthy lifestyle. 

-I think I want to run in something, probably something smaller like a 5K or a 10K.

-Compete in the BodyForLife Challenge a second time.  This time concentrate on losing body fat more than the increase of muscle mass I saw over the first 12 weeks. This means more aerobics/cardio, and probably maintain the amount of weightlifting that my wife and I did over our first challenge.

-Achieve at least a 290/300 on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).  That means for my age group I need to get at least 77 pushups (100 points), 82 situps (100 points), and run 2 miles in at most 14:12 (90 points). That means I would be improving my pushups by 10, maintaining my situps, and bumping up my run by nearly 3 minutes!  I hate running...

-Spend more quality time with my wife.  She deserves it for putting up with me.

-Try something I have never tried before.  Basically this means to step outside of my comfort zone.  I find that this is the only way that one grows is to step out of your comfort zones at least every once in awhile and try something new.


Tools and Technologies

I want to learn the tools I already use better.  Those are Visual Studio Team Dev, Team Foundation Server, Test Driven.NET, Fiddler, SQL Query Analyzer, MS Office (because you can't quite get past using it).  Some tools I have just introduced are ReSharper (R#, this is a fantastic product!) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).  WCF looks to be the next standard towards SOA and the successor to web services.  Initial tests have shown it can move the same information at least twice as fast as MS Web Services using web services hosted in the same way.  That doesn't even account for TCP communication (lower level), which is much faster!  A new toy that I want to learn is an O/R mapper known as NHibernate.  This tool has been out for awhile and I have heard great things about it, so I am excited to start finally jumping on board.



By the end of the year I am going to read some books like most everyone else accepting the challenge.  I will read Pragmatic Programmer (just finished while editing this post), Practices of an Agile Developer (loving this book so far), XP Refactored (to keep an open perception on agile), and Essential ASP.NET (read again, a classic that hits from the basics to the advanced).   I also plan on reading The Fred Factor (enjoy what you do no matter what it is), Think and Grow Rich (some good lessons in here about goal setting), and possibly The Automatic Millionaire.

-I also want to increase my reading of blogs and find a new place to house these (possibly Google Reader).  I have been using Bloglines up to this point, but I want to try something different.



I find that the best way to learn things better is to teach others.  I spend time learning it better so I can answer the "why" and not just the "how." That is where I feel I really learn, when I learn the "why."  I think I will submit some abstracts to Tulsa Techfest and maybe present on at least one topic down there on October 19th & 20th, 2007.  Also, in my current position as team lead, I will help those around me become better programmers through code reviews, pairing, mentoring, and by leading by example.  I feel that increasing the skills of those around me increases my abilities tenfold.  I also tend to feel it has been a productive day if I have learned one new thing that day, no matter how small.  Also I will find a mentor (although I think I have found one where I work).



One of the things I would like to do by the end of the year is take a few tests towards certification. The first test I would like to take and pass is one of the upgrades for MCPD: Enterprise Applications Developer. I will probably take the 70-553. I have been thinking about MCDBA and MCSE for a few years and now that MCSE 2000 is getting retired next March, I may concentrate on that through the year end as well.  Seems like quite a lot to do to get through seven tests before March, but it is likely doable if I put my mind to it.



I tag Clint Batman and Robert Brinson (if he had a blog).  I would have tagged Tim Hibbard, but Dru posts faster than I do. ;)

Print | posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:18 PM | Filed Under [ Code Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]



# re: My End of Year Roadmap to Becoming a Better Person (and Developer)

Impressive goal for the push-up count! That sounds like a good one for me to adopt as well. What are the guidelines for doing them? Do you have to do them within a certain time limit? Can you rest in between as long as your knees don't touch the floor?
8/2/2007 8:35 AM | Russell Ball

# re: My End of Year Roadmap to Becoming a Better Person (and Developer)

Holy cow, your physical tests sound *intense*. I'm anxious to hear more about how you do!! Body 4 Life is actually pretty awesome - I'm doing a different workout set but hoping for similar gains.

Thanks for doing this!
8/14/2007 1:18 PM | Justice~!
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