2011 In Review

January 02, 2012 📬 Get My Weekly Newsletter

At the start of 2011, I blogged about a “professional goals” file I found on my computer, and compared it to what happened. I kindof enjoyed the exercise, so here’s a repeat.


Here’s what was on my list of goals for 2011:

Deploy my iPhone app to App Store

Sadly, my app is still floundering. With the release of iOS5, it’s even got some bugs. I would like to either re-implement or at least beef it up and get it into the store. With the book done (see below), this might happen.

Speak at at least 2 conferences

Done and done. I was lucky enough to speak at more than two conferences this year, including RubyNation, RubyConf, GoGaRuCo, OSCON and Ruby Midwest. It was a ton of fun, but exhausting. Probably going to dial that back this year.

Publish my command-line application book

My book on command-line applications in Ruby is done. It took most of my free time this year to get it to completion, but it’s done and should be out of beta real soon. I love writing and so I’m inclined to count this against myi “blog twice a month” thing, but it took a lot more time than I thought it would.

Develop and deploy an iPad app

Not even close :(

Blog twice a month

I barely managed an average of one post/month. This year will hopefully be better. My main problem is that it’s hard to find interesting things to blog about. I would much rather my blog be like Marco Arment’s than a grab bag of technical junk, but I also don’t want to have a blog like Daring Fireball that is just opinions and reactions (not that I don’t think that’s a great blog or a great way to write, but it’s just not what I want to blog about).

Learn JavaScript more betterer

I spent almost no time improving my JavaScript skills. I’m not particularly sad about it, but I would still like to be better at it.

Get my rudimentary scaladoc doclet accepted.

I think that my patch inspired a change in the scaladoc tool that gives it doclet-like abilities, but I couldn’t find the time to do anything with it. The Scala documentation is much improved over the initial version of Scaladoc2, but it’s still pretty bad. Sadly, I’m not writing a lot of Scala at work, so I don’t have the time or motivation to do much about it.


All in all, I didn’t hit everything I’d hoped, but I’m still happy with how things panned out. I think the theme of 2011 for me was “Don’t Get Pigeon-holed”.

While my job at Opower was great, I was doing a lot of Java and ready to move on, both technically and product-wise. Instead of spending my free-time refining my Ruby skills, I now apply them daily (along with a great team), freeing up my after-work time to other pursuits.

So, what are those pursuits? I’m not looking to dive into some esoteric new bleeding-edge language at the moment. I’d still like to get better at JavaScript and Objective-C, and that might be enough “new stuff” for me for this year. Additionally, I’d like to:

  • Keep writing, either the blog or a short self-published thing
  • Complete methadone and release GLI2, so both of those projects can be in maintenance-mode for a while
  • Find a way to keep up with my Scala.

Beyond that, hopefully I can spend more time on music and cooking this year. Amy and I had a blast in Culebra just making up dishes using the limited ingredients available on the island and I’m just tired of eating sandwiches.