I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. Part of it is probably that I’ve always been fairly comfortable and complacent with my life that making any drastic changes has seemed entirely too inconvenient. As you’ve probably surmised from the title, I’ve had a change of heart. My hope is that by writing them down, even if no one else reads them, I might feel a tiny bit more obligated to stick to them. Hopefully, in 365 days I’ll have a new post to say that I actually completed them all.
1. Write More
I’ve had this blog for quite a while now (3+ years) and I have 6 posts, including this one. That’s pretty pathetic. I think writing or at least keeping some sort or journal is a fairly productive thing to do. Especially with respect to technical aspects, I think writing about projects helps to review your work and think about ways you could have done things better or differently. Assuming someone reads what you write, it also provides a means of receiving feedback which is invaluable. I think the most important consequence of writing about projects is that it forces you to justify your decisions. The more detail you include, the more you have to rationalize each decision you made. I hypothesize that this will make me a more deliberate, careful developer since if I make bad decisions I’ll then have to tell the entire internet about how I made terrible design choices.
2. Develop and Launch a Game
Every two months or so for the past several years, I get an overwhelming desire to develop a video game. This typically results in me coming up with a half-baked idea, spending an inordinate amount of time to come up with a clever name, spend about a week tops coding up a prototype without finishing and then abandoning the project altogether. My goal for 2017 is that I actually follow through on one of these projects and “finish” it. Besides just developing a game, I want to maintain a devblog, promote the game on social media, and do all the things a typical indie developer would do. I don’t plan to go into gamedev full-time any time soon, but I think there are a lot of skills that I can learn from hobby gamedev that will help me in other aspects of my career. The gamedev bug has bitten me again so I’ve currently got something in the works; with any luck, the first entry of my devblog for that project will be out this week.
3. Read More
I’ve always vehemently abhorred reading. I don’t know why. I found it tedious and boring. I still do, but now I recognize that it’s actually kind of a good thing to do. Especially in the software development field, there is a ton of literature written about how to become better at the craft. I’d like to read a few of these books. At the top of my list are:
- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition
- The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
- The Mythical Man Month
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
I’d also love any fiction suggestions to throw into the mix. I’ve read and loved the entire “Hitchhiker’s Guide” series by Douglas Adams.
4. Increase My Faith
2017 will be the first year in which I’m not a student, seeing as I’m graduating in May (woohoo!). A consequence of this is that I’ll no longer be held accountable by others (e.g. religious educators, FOCUS missionaries) with respect to my faith. It will be completely up to me to nurture and increase it. My goal for 2017 is to accomplish this. The exact method isn’t clear, but I know I want to grow closer to Christ and He wants to grow closer to me.
So that’s it. My four resolutions for 2017. Feel free to hold me accountable on Twitter (@ganashaw). Hopefully, I’ll be back in a couple days with a devblog for my latest project.