So what now?

About me. Two simple words that are so open as to make me pause when trying to determine what to write on this page.  My old about me can be found here. So much has changed since I first started this site. I don’t want to lose track of were I started and what my motivations where at the time. So who am I today?

I’m a programmer, husband, brewer, and general technophile in my mid 30’s. For some reason, I can’t shake the burning desire to be better at everything I do, especially when it comes to technology. I’m fascinated by every new gadget, programming language, and project I see. At times, it can be so overwhelming that I lose focus. That’s what this year (2014) is about. Focus. You see, I look around and I am surrounded by people I consider great programmers. People whose knowledge dwarfs mine. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a pretty decent programmer. I’m fast, I work really well with others, and I understand what it is like to be a customer, a support rep, a trainer, a designer and a programmer. I’ve worked almost every point in the software lifecycle. I think this gives me a unique perspective that not many programmers have had the opportunity to explore. It was a long road to get to where I am, but I believe that has made me that much stronger. The problem? I don’t want to be a pretty decent programmer.  I want to be a GREAT programmer.

I mentioned that it has been a long road to get me where I am today. I’ve put in countless hours typing away on new programs, learning new languages (however quickly forgotten they are without constant use) and expanding my view on technology. When I think about what I am really passionate about, it is trying to help others to have an easier go at it than I did. The greatest thing we can have in technology is more ideas and to accomplish that, we need more people willing to move past being a user and becoming creators. President Barack Obama recently said, “I think given how pervasive computers and the internet is now, and how fascinated kids are with it I want to make sure they know how to actually produce stuff using computers, and not simply consume stuff.”  The world is different than when I began learning technology. Now, anyone can learn, as long as they have the willpower and the desire to put in the effort that is required. My goal over the next year is to take what I have learned and use it to continue to make myself great. I want to use this knowledge to write a book that will help others that not only want to get started in programming, find their first job doing it, but then also use that knowledge and the habits they developed to make themselves, and everyone around them better.

So, follow along with me on this journey. I’m not entirely sure where it will take me and exactly what steps I will follow. I’m going to start by continuing my education with some online classes on Android. I’ve been a mobile applications developer for the last several years, mostly focused on Android and server side Java. I recently attended AnDevCon and found that I still have a lot to learn. I’m going to be taking a couple of classes on coursera.org (1, 2) to learn even more. I am especially excited about one that deals with network operations as it pertains to mobile apps. At the same time, I intend to find a good open source project to work on and put in some extra time. Will it be an Android project? Maybe, but part of me thinks it might be a good idea to find something outside of my comfort zone. Something that will push me to my limits and force me to expand my horizons.