2013 - Accomplishments, Failures, Learnings, and Thanks

I started 2013 by quitting my job, and during the remainder of the year I learned a lot, made the odd mistake, and accomplished a few things.

This is the obligatory end-of-year post, I hope it will inspire or be otherwise useful.

Accomplishments

Failures

Even though it was very much a secondary goal, my 50 Apps By Christmas goal was not achieved. I finished the year with a total of 21 apps in-store. I decided to continue the challenge into 2014: 100 Apps By Christmas 2014. This is still a stretch goal as I have other plans for 2014, but it’s good to have these secondary stretch goals. I don’t feel bad for not having achieved this as I’m happy with the year overall.

Learnings

So here’s a few things I learned this year:

  • If you’re not enjoying something 80% of the time then change it
  • Don’t be afraid of what you haven’t failed at yet (“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” - Mark Twain)
  • Think deeply about what your core belief is – for example I believe software should be easy to change
  • Once you know what you believe in, compare that against your current situation/job/management/team/project – if your beliefs differ then change your situation: “change your employer or change your employer”
  • Basic design/UX knowledge is quickly becoming an essential skill for developers to have – not that we have to be expert designers, but a little extra knowledge here goes a long way
  • There’s always more about a language/platform to learn
  • Try to be kind and positive online (Twitter, comments, etc.) even if you don’t always succeed
  • Be flexible with plans
  • Teaching other people is cool
  • Believe in yourself and believe you can always get better
  • Don’t be afraid that you don’t know everything – in our industry this is impossible
  • Be proud of your accomplishments, however small
  • There are always possibilities

Giving Thanks

In addition to all the early supporters of my book, commenters on this blog, and kind people of Twitter, I’d like to personally thank the following:

  • The Perth .NET user group: especially Mike Minutillo for planting the subconscious seeds of becoming a Pluralsight author
  • Gentry Riggen for being super supportive and always having kind words
  • Scott Hanselman for teaching me things and always promoting kindness and respect
  • The Windows Developer Show for always being entertaining and super positive
  • Nick Hodge for support and opportunities (even though I couldn’t always take advantage of them)
  • All my Twitter followers

 

So to end 2013, in the wise words of Bill and Ted:

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