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What are your personal development plans for 2019?

jeastham1993 profile image James Eastham ・2 min read

I'm a firm believer in constantly improving my skills. I like having a core set of frameworks I use day to day (.NET Core and React currently) but also like to expand my knowledge and try other things.

That started this year with picking up React as a front end framework (I'd always been an Angular guy). Turns out, React makes more sense to my little brain than Angular ever did so that turned out to be a very happy experiment.

That's got me thinking about where I want to go in the next 12 months with my development skills.

Expand my back end framework knowledge

I am and always have been a .NET developer. Anything server-side has always been in .NET Framework and more recently .NET core.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with that, I like having options. So in the next 12 months, I'm going to start experimenting with another server-side framework. Which one is still up for debate...

Node seems to well used around the internet, I hear a lot of good things about Go and recently read an article about the incredible speed of Rust. So plenty of choices. Any suggestions from anyone reading this are greatly appreciated.

Get official with AWS

In a similar vein to the Angular/React experiment, I've also started to explore AWS vs Azure (mainly due to my employer going all out AWS).

On that front, I am aiming to get my AWS certifications in architecture and development in the first few months of next year.

Knowing how cloud apps should be developed as intended by the company that builds the platform, instead of how stack overflow recommends, is an invaluable skill.

Test-Driven Development

From an all-round perspective, I plan on really ramping up my usage of TDD. Whilst I do write unit tests for all most some of the code I write, I want to really grasp the TDD principles.

Whilst time constraints are the main issue, sometimes it's pure forgetfulness. I write a section of code and then realize after that I never wrote a test for it.

All about habit building, but it's certainly a good habit to get into.

Over to you

I'd love to hear what your plans are for 2020, how do you plan on bettering yourself as a developer? Drop a message in the comments.

Discussion

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mckkaleb profile image
Kaleb McKinney

I'm trying to get into .NET more right now, and that will continue to be one of my goals next year. Specifically, for the time being, ASP.NET. I would also like to get into F#, but I have no specific goals for that right now.

Dart is also something I'm looking to get into. While it's not as high on the list as .NET, it's something I'm looking to expand on. Obviously, Flutter is on the list, but I'd also like to do web development with Dart.

And I'd also like to learn another client side JS (or Dart) framework. So probably Angular or React.

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jeastham1993 profile image
James Eastham Author

+1 for .NET :)

I've heard of Dart but never really looked at it, just had a quick Google and it looks fascinating. Any reasons why you've chose that before say Angular or React?

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Kaleb McKinney

Not really. I just happened to stumble upon it while surfing through GitHub. I usually use Vue if I use a JavaScript framework, but I have been looking at Angular, and to a (much) lesser extent React.

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jonjojr

This year was React, and that turned into React, Material UI, Redux, GraphQL, Prisma, Mongo, Heroku and a slew of other technologies to learn around React. It became overwhelming, and I feel like I did not learn much.

I am taking a step back in 2020 and fine tune my skills in React. The problem I face is that I don't think I can just learn React. I have to carry the entire load of all these additional frameworks to be productive.

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James Eastham Author

Oh wow, yeah things soon snowball don't they! I found that when I first picked up Docker. It was oooo Docker and then oooo Kubernetes and then oooo Istio and then ooooo service mesh etc etc etc...

I think stepping back is a great idea. Part of the reason why I've enjoyed React so much is taking it really slow and taking my time with the basics before moving on to the more real-world applicable, enjoyable and complex things.

Good luck with everything though :)

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Suzanne Aitchison (she/her)

I'm going to continue to focus on React and accessibility - with lots of new features coming to React and ES there will be plenty to learn, and I'm looking forward to going deeper with my a11y learning so I can be a better advocate for good practices.

I also have the aim that 2020 will be the year I submit my first talk proposals!

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James Eastham Author

Sounds fantastic! I'd never heard of a11y, but just had a quick look and seem a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing it.

Ooooo, talk proposals. I really fancy starting to do some speaking, just not sure where. I'd be interested to hear how that goes :)

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MurrayVarey

Test-Driven Development

Yeah, for some people TDD just clicks. Two minutes of Red-Green-Refactor and they're hooked. I'm definitely not one of those people -- TDD can be a struggle for me at times. Do you have a plan for how to practise?

To answer your question, I'm looking to give back to the community. Cheesy answer I know, but I've come to realise that I'm a selfish git, and that doesn't do me (or anyone) any good. Don't know how to approach it yet though.

On a technical side, I plan to dig deeper into Rust. I've heard excellent things, but the terrible name has put me off for too long.

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Chris Weir

I probably have the same goals as you. Except swap out .NET with PHP as I use PHP at work. And learn Kubernetes. I was going to give into .NET, but no idea where to start.

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James Eastham Author

Good luck with K8s. That's a rabbit hole I've been down recently :) It's incredible at what it does, just a rather steep learning curve to get it right.

It's an interesting one .NET. I'm a firm believer, with learning any language, is understand the basics and then jumping in and building something real. Even if it's a simple CRUD API or similar. You can follow all the tuts you want, but building an actual application is where the value is.

It's a good time to jump into .NET with, with .NET core 3.1 just getting release to LTS.