Posted by Jan 20, 2012
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Building on last year’s effort, I’ve been spending some time with the Pragmatic Thinking and Learning book to start thinking about my knowledge portfolio for the year ahead. I’m still not entirely clear on the fine print, but there are some themes that are really starting to run in my thinking, so I figure I should get accountable and blog it up.
Here’s my stab at the tech areas I’m interested in getting across in 2012:
- Grails 2.0 Deep Dive. Grails In Action has a completed TOC and a slated release schedule for 2nd Edition. So I guess most of the hard work is already done No doubt there will be many adventures posted here in the days to come.
- GUI Applications. I know everyone is giddy with mobile at the moment and I spent plenty of time building mobile apps for every possible device on a project last year. This year I’ve ended up with a couple of major Swing gigs on the timeline, so this is a great chance to catch up on Frankenstein GUI skills (for all platforms, not just Swing). Native Android might be a good experiment area here too. And Griffon goes without saying. It’s much harder when you don’t have a “Twitter Bootstrap” for Native GUIs!
- Integration Testing. I’ve flirted with Geb after Luke’s sessions at 2GX, and I’m also keen to explore more native Web-centric tools (like FuncUnit) to explore what kinds of tools are productive for me. I went live with my first major piece of Grails Commercial Software late last year, but my biggest snags have been browser-specific issues! I’m hoping some functional testing will help.
- JBoss. Ok this one is definitely a little left of centre. But I live in a (mostly) Websphere town and I’m really tired of dealing with the insanity and wastefulness of that platform. I’d really love to have a full-stack alternative (SOA is big in Canberra) that I could offer clients as a migration strategy. I think JBoss is worth exploring here for that reason alone.
- MongoDB. Of all the NoSQL options, Mongo looks the most interesting to me. I own a couple of books, and the Grails support for NoSQL is pretty rocking right now. I think the trickiest part here is actually getting a feel for NoSQL Schema design in document stores. It’s not like there’s an easy “Third Normal Form” type refactoring to apply.
And the softer non-software stuff?
- Training Skills. A lot of the ideas in Pragmatic Thinking and Learning apply specifically to how to train and mentor people. I really want to experiment with this over the course of the year by running some experimental training sessions and see how people cope with alternate presentation/learning courseware. Should have a good impact on the book too!
- Leadership. I’m now serving on the leadership board of several for-profit and non-for-profit organisations. I bring plenty of technical horsepower, but don’t really contribute much in vision casting, strategic planning and people development. All my non-tech reading this year is going to be along the lines of “developing people” but in a Glen-kinda-way rather than just a John-Maxwell-regurgitate kinda way. Honestly there is so much junk written about leadership that is passed on unprocessed…But that’s for another <rant/>
- Minimalism. I’ve actually been applying a bunch of the ideas from “The Joy of Less” that I’ve found really helpful in building a much more conducive living and working space. Think of it as “Eliminate Waste” but applied to your whole life rather than just your code! Lots to learn here, and lots of habits to unlearn to.
Well that should keep me busy for a while…. At least for 2012…