2014 Goals

Better late than never.

Write everything down

I have been getting better at this since I set up Evernote on all my computers. Right now I have a cross between Evernote and Google Docs for recording my thoughts. Too many times I have wanted to refer to something I’ve seen before but not written down/bookmarked.

Garden

I was traveling last summer so my garden suffered. This year I will plan my garden more carefully and can/freeze anything I don’t eat for later. I am actively involved with the Lincoln Community CROPS program. I want to volunteer two hours a week with them.

Plan a weekly menu

I created a white board for my kitchen where I can plan a week’s worth of meals. When I don’t plan out my meals, I’ve ended up throwing away too much food. Part of planning my meals should include lunches so I stop eating out so much. I will base my meals off the CrossFit/Zone menu.

Get to the gym 3-4 times a week

I have a CrossFit membership. I haven’t always been that great at getting there. It’s easy to find excuses. This year they changed the schedule so I can get there Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I want to go all four days each week.

Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero is related to the Getting Things Done methodology. Each day I will triage my email and copy any important tasks to Workflowy, my task management software. If something can be accomplished immediately, I will do it immediately. Unimportant emails are archived, and things I don’t need to save are deleted. At the end of the day my inbox should be empty.

Work – Back to the basics

At work we adopted ASP.NET MVC in 2009. We built our own internal workflow on the early versions and have not kept up with some of the newer features. Recently I’ve been getting some new developers up to speed on the platform and discovered that our code has drifted from how MVC is taught today. I want to revisit Microsoft’s recommended best practices and make sure we are following them going forward.

Also, my education was in physics and not so much computer science. I am a self taught programmer. So far this year I have been working my way through Robert Sedgewick’s Algorithms book to brush up on my theoretical CS. On my own side projects I have been minimizing my reliance on third party libraries so I can revisit the fundamentals of javascript, HTTP, and SQL.

Work – Consolidate a best practices document

As part of my back to the basics push, I want to make sure I truly know what I’m learning. I believe the best method for this is to follow Richard Feynman’s advice: teach it! I’ll detail this in a separate post, but as CTO of PWG I would like to consolidate my research and experience to a documented set of best practices for my coworkers to refer to.

Stretch – Calculate the mission trajectory for the Apollo missions.

As a kid I was fascinated with the moon missions. I’ve seen Apollo 13 more times than I can count. Since I have a background in physics, I enjoy finding real world applications for it–something I don’t get to do much as a programmer. This year I would like to learn how the NASA engineers calculated the appropriate launch windows and burn times in order to get to the moon, land, rendezvous, and return to Earth.