The end of the year usually breeds one of two types of posts (or, in some cases, both!):

  1. A look back over the year summarizing everything that you accomplished (or discussing what you didn’t get accomplished),
  2. Your plans for what you hope to get done in the New Year

And I’m no exception.

Granted, I’m not one that’s big on resolutions – I tend to think that the best time to start something new is whenever you decide to start something new, but I know that bringing in a new year brings with it that feeling of starting over or a clean slate and with that comes ideas for what you hope to get done.

Outside of WordPress

Usually, a post like this would warrant my talking something about what I want to do with WordPress and though there’s plenty that I’d like to do with WordPress (as far as building things is concerned), there’s stuff outside of WordPress, as well.

So I’m curious:

What are two things that you’re hoping to learn or to achieve outside of working with WordPress in 2015 but are still related to computing in some way (in the most general sense, too)?

Personally, I’m looking to learn Swift and I’m looking to get back into casual blogging.

Swift

A couple of years ago, I started learning and working with Objective-C but got completely immersed with other things (both online and offline) all of which put iOS development on hold. With things ordered a bit differently now, I should have more time to commit to learning a new language (which is something that I think programmers should seek to do every couple of years, anyway, but I digress).

Secondly, there’s “casual blogging.” I don’t know if that’s actually a thing, but I’ve always enjoyed Tumblr (case in point, right?) and tumblr-style blogs that other people use to share things that they like. That is, I like following the things that others – especially those whom I know personally – share that they find interesting. And, honestly, I think it’s kinda fun just to share and catalog random findings or things from our day-to-day and talking with others who happen to be those, you know, drive-by commenters.

Anyway, there’s mine.

I hope that you and yours have a fantastic New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I’m eager to hear what you’re looking to do over the next 365 days.

Let me know in the comments.

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Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Hey Tom,

    I’m going full-bore into writing this next year. Blogging and book-writing. It’s not quite “casual” – more so geared at sharing my experience in freelancing, WordPress and software.

    You probably know this, but writing is exceptionally hard to do clearly and consistently. Blogging has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. Naturally, it’s one of the most rewarding, too!

    I hope 2015 is excellent for you and your family! Swift sounds awesome. Too many interesting things, too little time.

    •  I’m going full-bore into writing this next year. Blogging and book-writing. It’s not quite “casual” – more so geared at sharing my experience in freelancing, WordPress and software.

      I’m eager to follow along. Will you be doing this on your current site or are you starting something new?

       You probably know this, but writing is exceptionally hard to do clearly and consistently.

      Yes, but like you said, the rewards that it yields pay dividends (even if it’s only at a personal level :).

       I hope 2015 is excellent for you and your family! Swift sounds awesome. Too many interesting things, too little time.

      Same to you and yours. And yes, there’s always more stuff than time. Constant tension with that.

      • I’m eager to follow along. Will you be doing this on your current site or are you starting something new?

        Current site. I’d love to have you follow along and/or tell me what I’m doing wrong, but you’re under zero obligation to do so. You’re a busy man.

        There’s always more stuff than time. Constant tension with that.

        I’ve gotten better in the last year of saying “no” when an idea pops into my head. It’s worked wonders for my stress levels :)

        • Added it to my RSS reader :).

          I dunno if I can offer any advice on “what you’re doing wrong” because I’m still figuring tons of stuff out, but I enjoy reading other people’s experiences, too.

  2. That’s curious since I started on swift about a month and half ago with the specific aim of integrating with a couple of wordpress sites. Happy new year and good luck.

  3. I know for me that over the past 3 years I’ve attempted to learn 3 major things: Android, IOS, and Unity development. However, instead of developing a firm understanding of any one of those technologies, I’ve only managed to introduce myself to them and become somewhat familiar with parts of there architecture and syntax. In 2015, WordPress will be the new thing I’m trying to learn. This is mainly due to the fact that my Uncle wants me to help him build a website using WordPress for a cleaning business that he is going to start. The one thing that all 4 of these technologies have in common for me, is that they were opportunities for me to develop a piece of software that could be deployed for public use in order to bolster my resume. Cause I don’t really have much of a resume beyond the fact that I have a Bachelors in Computer Science, participated in an Internship, and now have 1 year experience in Application Support. All of those things are givens. I have yet to do a side project on my own of my own volition that is used by and available to consumers. So hopefully in the coming year, I’ll finally complete that side project that I’ll put on my resume.

    • However, instead of developing a firm understanding of any one of those technologies, I’ve only managed to introduce myself to them and become somewhat familiar with parts of there architecture and syntax.

      In my experience, that’s how it goes. It’s hard not to spread yourself thin trying to learn too many things at once.

      That’s why I try to dedicate a couple of years to one or two new things.

       I have yet to do a side project on my own of my own volition that is used by and available to consumers. So hopefully in the coming year, I’ll finally complete that side project that I’ll put on my resume.

      Start a GitHub account and keep your work there, too. Maybe even blog about some of the stuff you’re working about.

      I’ve found hat in a lot of ways, those two things have been just as impactful – if not more so – than a resumé when it comes to getting a job.

      Either way, best of luck :).

      On December 31, 2014 at 9:00:53 PM, David Fall (hello@email.gopostmatic.com) wrote:

      David Fall added a comment.

      In reply to: What Are You Doing Outside of WordPress?.

      David Fall

      December 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I know for me that over the past 3 years I’ve attempted to learn 3 major things: Android, IOS, and Unity development. However, instead of developing a firm understanding of any one of those technologies, I’ve only managed to introduce myself to them and become somewhat familiar with parts of there architecture and syntax. In 2015, WordPress will be the new thing I’m trying to learn. This is mainly due to the fact that my Uncle wants me to help him build a website using WordPress for a cleaning business that he is going to start. The one thing that all 4 of these technologies have in common for me, is that they were opportunities for me to develop a piece of software that could be deployed for public use in order to bolster my resume. Cause I don’t really have much of a resume beyond the fact that I have a Bachelors in Computer Science, participated in an Internship, and now have 1 year experience in Application Support. All of those things are givens. I have yet to do a side project on my own of my own volition that is used by and available to consumers. So hopefully in the coming year, I’ll finally complete that side project that I’ll put on my resume.

      Reply to this email to reply to David Fall.

      Please note: Your reply will be published publicly and immediately on What Are You Doing Outside of WordPress?.

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      Andrew Fielden

      December 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      That’s curious since I started on swift about a month and half ago with the specific aim of integrating with a couple of wordpress sites. Happy new year and good luck.

      David Fall

      December 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I know for me that over the past 3 years I’ve attempted to learn 3 major things: Android, IOS, and Unity development. However, instead of developing a firm understanding of any one of those technologies, I’ve only managed to introduce myself to them and become somewhat familiar with parts of there architecture and syntax. In 2015, WordPress will be the new thing I’m trying to learn. This is mainly due to the fact that my Uncle wants me to help him build a website using WordPress for a cleaning business that he is going to start. The one thing …

      Reply to this email to reply to David Fall.

      Please note: Your reply will be published publicly and immediately on What Are You Doing Outside of WordPress?.

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  4. W dniu 2014-12-31 o 21:25, Tom McFarlin pisze:

  5. I’m looking to improve my JavaScript skills and dive into Node, personally.

    • One of my brother-in-laws has been deep in server-side JavaScript lately. He and I were chatting about it over the holidays and he’s really digging it.

      Sure you will as well, James :).

  6. Huh, I left a comment the other day and it’s not showing up. Anyway, my big computer related to-do for 2015 is learning JavaScript.

    I’m also going to learn how to touch type. Might sound crazy, that I don’t already know how, but my background is in design and I’ve never had a huge need as most of my day was spent using a Wacom tablet. These days I spend most of my time in a text editor, and hunt/peck, no matter how fast I’m able to do it, is a hinderance.

    • Huh, I left a comment the other day and it’s not showing up. 

      Eh. Bummer. Not sure what happened (if it was on this end or not).

      Anyway, my big computer related to-do for 2015 is learning JavaScript.

      Love that! I highly recommend Head First JavaScript and JavaScript: The Good Parts. Both of those books will get you set on the right path early on (especially if you read them in that order).

      Might sound crazy, that I don’t already know how, but my background is in design and I’ve never had a huge need as most of my day was spent using a Wacom tablet.

      Interesting! I had no idea that’s what your background was in. Good luck on learning :). I never really learned it properly so when we had keyboarding back in high school, I’d be going through the exercises basically typing them out based on how I had taught myself to type when I had first gotten into computers.

      Accuracy was the main focus of getting a good grade so all turned out okay ;). 

      • Good stuff Tom, thank you for the recommendations! I’m currently working my way through “Beginning JavaScript” by Paul Wilton and Jeremy McPeak. It’s a fairly massive book but it’s been great so far.

        I’ve got a long way to go but I’m really excited because the concepts are actually beginning to stick. I realized I was getting somewhere when I started finding myself dreaming about arrays and object constructors. :-p But, it’s definitely something that I need to stay on top of because the knowledge goes just as quick as I get it. I take 2 or 3 days off of learning and I feel like I’ve taken 2 or 3 weeks off.

        Once I finish the course I am on now I’ll grab those books you suggested. :)

        With regards to typing, I ran across this article by Jeff Atwood a while back.

        http://blog.codinghorror.com/we-are-typists-first-programmers-second/

        The premise is summarized by this quote –

        So if you want to become a great programmer, start by becoming a great typist.

        Everyone is different, but the article is worth a read and really resonated with me. I mentioned my Wacom tablet in my last post – I’m so proficient with that tool that it’s second nature. There’s no barrier between my mind and the machine; I’m able to just fly around my design programs and do what I need to do, same as if I were writing.

        When I write code, or do anything with my keyboard, I have to look down at the keyboard, up at the screen, repeat repeat. There’s none of that zen oneness that I experience when using my tablet…. :)

        Anyway, thanks again and happy New Year.

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