2013, the year the Mayans forgot.

The year I hopefully become a better programmer.

January 04, 2013 •

For 2013 I’ve made a few resolutions. Spurred on by Chris Coyier, I’ve decided to blog my plans for the next year. This year is a little different than most because I made a conscious effort to formulate emperically measurable goals.

Finish 1 book per month

This is a personal goal, not a professional one, per say. Reagan Ray posted his 2012 reading log and it’s inspiring to see the books he’s finished over the past year. I’m definitely missing that ritual in my life. Although some of my reading choices will be design/technical related, I’m hoping that most of them are outside of the work-o-sphere.

My strategy will be to turn off the phone and TV at least one night a week and/or settle into bed earlier to make time to read.

Dedicate 4+ hours per week to learning

I’m fairly confident in my programming abilities, but that confidence is based on the fact that I know the areas where I can improve. So I plan to spend at least 4 hours a week dedicated to getting better at programming and learning things I don’t know. My list thus far:

  • Learn Backbone.js
  • Start using Grunt/Yeoman
  • Start writing JS unit tests
  • Learn how to draw with <canvas>

This is what I call my “list of shame”, stuff I know of and should know by now, but for whatever reason haven’t gotten around to picking up.

My strategy is to regularly attend Cafe Bedouins here in Austin in order to hone my skills around other (better) programmers. I’ve already started playing around on Codeacademy just to give myself some objectives. I find that repetition (even of stuff I already know) helps me learn.

New motto: Do shit instantly

On paper 2 new habits doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve got other obligations that will no doubt occupy some free time throughout the year:

  • Paravel is going strong. We’re getting close to finishing up a few sites before we settle into another project with one of our favorite clients.
  • ShopTalk just recorded its 50th episode and celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Chris Coyier and I couldn’t be more pleased and are excited about year #2. Thanks to all our guests, listeners, and anyone who has ever submitted a question for helping us along.
  • The ATX Web Show has entered its 4th year with the help of new co-host Travis Swicegood. The web show maintains its consistently inconsistence pace.
  • Helping organize the @ATXDribbble Meetup is going fairly well. We’ve got some great companies lined up to sponsor beverages during our meetups. I love the Austin web community.
  • I’ll be attending a few conferences throughout the year starting with In Control Orlando.
  • And of course I’ll be blogging more.

Then add my wife, dog, friends, meetups, homebrewing, a junk truck, and home improvement in to the mix and my evenings are mostly filled. In order to stave off procrastination, I’m abiding by the new motto of “Do shit instantly” whenever possible. So far it keeps me motivated.