Back to school

This week is the first week of September, and lots of students, myself included, start or have started school. For the upcoming year, I feel like writing a post about my own resolutions, and hopefully I can help with anyone out there planning to get into the tech industry.

My Goals

This upcoming year I will be staying in North Carolina for an exchange year, but aside from schoolwork, I feel like setting up some other personal goals for programming too.

Learn web frameworks

Since right now my main focus, and very possibly my career path, is web dev, it would make sense for me to learn more about it. Up to this point, if you have been following up this blog, you will realize most of my web dev experience is in Dart. It is a great language, with lots of built-in integrations and a nice object-oriented model, but realistically most of the websites today runs on Javascript or php, and I have not have much exposure to any of them. Also, after leaving Google, a lot of the resources are not that nicely knitted anymore, so I need to learn a lot to stand up a decent site. To sum up, my goal for web dev this year is:

  • Javascript and jQuery/ajax

  • php and mySQL

  • (optional) RoR

Ultimately, what I want by next May is to stand up a decent site, on parallel to this site, where I can put more comprehensive resources about tech for you. I understand there are lots of ready to use sites, but I want to build one for my own, just to get a thorough understanding about web dev.

Goals for this site

Apart from programming, a lot of my internet presence is this site, where I post stuff that hopefully help you as a developer. For the coming year, I don’t want to change anything in general about that, but with some minor modifications:

  • Starting from next week, I want to try to alternate blog topics between tech and non-tech. For tech videos, I would try to introduce some technologies I use recently, or to explain a specific concept in computer science. For non-tech topics, I will talk about more high-level stuff about software engineering, or just life as a developer. I made this decision drawing a lot of inspiration from Dave. I recommend you to check out his content, as I have learned a lot from his videos.

  • Another thing I want state is the schedule. This is not really a change, but I want to re-state my commitment to this site. One post a week, to my very best of my capabilities. There was once that I took a break, a few weeks ago, but now that I have settled down nicely here, I will stick to the schedule I set.

What can you do?

So on the part that concerns you all more. What are your goals for the year? Feel free to let me know in the comment section. But no matter what you do, I have a few words to tell you that I think will help.

Commit to it. Don’t set goals if you are not going to achieve it. I say this not to encourage you to lower the bar, but whatever goal you set, you are not going to achieve it if you don’t pay your time and effort. This should go without saying, but I want to stress it again: you only achieve by doing.

Learn at least one framework. No matter if you are web dev, mobile dev, or whatever, try to learn a new framework this year. One thing I always believe firmly is that this industry changes far too quickly. Something that works might not tomorrow, because people turn and look at other things. As a developer you should always be willing to learn new stuff. Also by “learn”, I mean to be fairly good at it, that you can develop something decent for the real world. I understand this is pretty hard to do when you have a heavy workload, but it will be worth it.

Meet some peers. One of my biggest weakness as a developer is connecting to other brilliant minds. This year, I suggest you, and myself, to approach more to other developers out there. They could be your classmate, colleagues, or just people you see in the cs club. You need a “squad goal”, to be a part of a small but close group, like the guys in the Big Bang Theory TV show. There are a lot of materials about social engineering, I recommend How to Win Friends & Influence People form Dale Carnegie.

That’s it for this week, hope you all enjoy Labor Day weekend, and I will see you next week.

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