the corner office : tech blog

a tech blog, by Colin Pretorius

Thee 2009 review and 2010 goals

This year's been an interesting mix but also with frustrations.

Workwise, I'll not say much (as usual) except that it's been good. Another year of server-side heavy lifting and low-down nitty gritty stuff, which is exactly what I love doing. I also got to spend a chunk of the year doing C++, which I always enjoy.

On the home front, it's been a bit frustrating. My secret pet project fizzled out due to lack of time (mainly due to my starting studying again) and what I might call 'feasibility' prototypes which suggested that I was wasting my time. I learned a few things along the way, but for the most part, it's just mothballed code now.

I've also fiddled with GUIs this year, playing with everything from wxPython to C++ wxWidgets to Swing. I'm sorry to say I've achieved proficiency with none of them, and wasted an inordinate amount of time vascillating between them. Too damned complicated. I don't want to be a guru desktop app developer, I just want to be able to knock up a functional interface when I need it. I've never considerd my needs exotic; I'm sure it should be easier, and I wish it was, but it just isn't. Part of me wonders whether I'd be as frustrated by things not quite working how I want them to, if I was using .Net. I've fired up Monodevelop a few times and thought 'hmmm'.

Why not .Net then? Mainly, I'll admit, because it's too close to Java. The irony (and main problem) is that despite repeated promises to myself that I won't use Java at home while it's my day job, it's still easiest for me to knock out quick pieces of code in it. With a young family and studies and the like, tinkering time is always at a premium. Since I'm almost always chasing the clock (and oftentimes too far past bedtime), the temptation to revert to Java when I just want to get things done is too great.

So, looking back at my goals for 2009, it's a mixed bag. I did the C++ thing (but could always do more), I'm almost permanently in Linux (except for a brief stint this year playing Eve Online). I'm still doing Java at home, still not yet done the Unixey stuff, and I've sort-of played with Python.

For 2010? For now I'lljust say:

  • on the work front, more of the same
  • no more Java at home, no matter how convenient it is

That's a little open-ended, and it's that way for a reason. I've got exams in February, and I'm going to give myself the next month to think about what I'd really like to do hobby-wise this year. I want to do something achievable, I want to pick a project. I'm just not sure what, yet.

{2010.01.02 19:43}

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