Friday, 20 January 2012

2012 - Preparation meets opportunity

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Seneca

This came on the back of a conversation today with a friend of mine, he sent me an e-mail with another quote from Seneca, a 1st century Roman philosopher - and as I started to write this post I thought it tied in well this post from Michael Crump that I found in my twitter feed - 11 Things every Software Developer should be doing in 2012.

I thought I'd add my mentations...

  1. Get on Twitter - I did this in 2011. I was reluctant at first - another social media stream? Twitter, really? I was slow at first, but now I'm seeing it's value. Aside from the reasons Michael provided, it's a great networking tool.
  2. Read StackOverflow daily - I haven't been able to get into StackOverflow. I think I'm getting plenty of that information from other sources when I can. Certainly as a beginner I would recommend sites like that, but as the cynical "Dirt" commenter suggested - asking is good, answers - not so much. I can't say I'm fluent enough to know how much chaff is in the responses, but when I was learning I went to an authoritative source - AskTom.
  3. Start a blog - I'm not sure if I'm prepared to do that ;-)
  4. Get out there - I agree 100% Your local user group is a great start. Here in Australia, AUSOUG holds regular events in many states. In WA we try to have a seminar once a month, and we have our annual conference series. Networking gold - plus you learn stuff alone the way and get free beer & pizza ;-)
  5. Carry around a modern phone - While I don't agree with the judgement of people based on what they own, use or wear, it is certainly a useful device in many ways - and just another way to help stay in touch with the industry.
  6. Embrace mobile - His comments about every developer will create a mobile app - really? I don't want to sound lacking in foresight, but surely with the vast array of programming languages around (pardon the pun), many programmers will be successful without going near a contemporary phone. That being said, in the Oracle world - 2012 will be the year of the mobile - think about what's coming in Apex 4.2
  7. Learn at least one design pattern - I'm not sure how applicable this is to the Oracle world. Instead, perhaps study database design a little closer.
  8. Set reachable goals each and every year - Goal setting is a big can of worms. True, I set myself goals, but I don't beat myself up if something gets in the way. Last year I aimed to learn Ubuntu, that's been very slow going. However, along the way I've taken grasp of many other opportunities. And I might look at it more this year, along with plug-ins and mobile.
  9. Learn a different programming language - This could be tough, however I encountered Code Academy recently, and if I get into gear I might use it to become more proficient with JavaScript.
  10. Boost your confidence - I agree with "Dirt" - no brainer. Trouble is, for some it isn't. I was adolescent once battling depression, and it doesn't necessarily come easy. The first time I changed employer I wasn't confident either - just keep your eyes open and be aware.
  11. Read blogs/programming books/magazines - Highly recommended. I have a collection of RSS feeds now, or you could just visit aggregators such as or I have a few programming books on the go, including technical reviews which are win-win. And surely you've subscribed to the Oracle magazine in some form? Don't limit yourself to Oracle or programming sources either. I have many feeds related to my science based interests, and I learn writing skills from them also - besides they can be fun to read.
What do you reckon? Any other big ones not listed?


And no, the world will not end this year.

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