Personal targets and goals for 2016

Posted on Monday, 01 Feb 2016

Around this time last year I set out a list of goals and targets for myself in my Personal targets and goals for 2015 blog post which, with 2015 coming to a close, I reflected on last month in my Reflecting on 2015 post.

I feel formally setting yourself yearly goals is a great way to focus a set of specific, well thought out targets as opposed to spending the year moving from one subject to another with no real aim. So without further ado, here are my personal targets for 2016.

Goal 1: Speak at more conferences and meet-ups

Those of you that know me will know that when I start talking about programming and software development it's hard to shut me up. Software and web development is a subject I've been hugely passionate about from a young age and since starting this blog I've found sharing knowledge and documenting progress a great way to learn, memorise get involved in the community. This desire to talk about software has ultimately led me to start speaking at local meet-ups (including a lunchtime lightning talk at DDD South West) which I've really enjoyed. This year I'd like to continue to pursue this by speaking at larger events and meet-ups that are further afield. I already plan on submitting a few talks to this year's DDD South West event so we'll see if they get accepted.

Goal 2: Start an Exeter based .NET User Group

Living in a rather quiet and rural part of United Kingdom has its pros and cons and whilst Somerset is a great place to live, it suffers from a lack of meet-ups, specifically .NET ones - this is something I'm hoping to rectify by starting up a .NET user group.

Whilst I don't live in Exeter, it's the closest place where I feel there will be enough interest for setting up a .NET specific user group, so I'm currently in the process of looking for a location on the outskirts of the city to make it easier for commuters living in some of the nearby towns and cities.

Goal 3: Continue contributing to the .NET OSS ecosystem

One of last year's goals was to contribute to more open-source libraries, and whilst I felt I made good progress in achieving this goal I'm keen to continue working in this area. Not only do I want to continue to contribute to existing projects but I'm also keen to help others get involved in contributing to projects. It's a really rewarding activity that can really help develop your skill set as a software developer, with this in mind I've been thinking of a few satellite sites that will help people get started.

I'm also thinking about a few talks that talk about how someone can get started and the lessons you can learn by contributing to open-source software.

In addition to the above, I'm also keen on contributing some of my own libraries to the .NET open-source ecosystem. More often than not I've found myself creating a few classes to encapsulate certain behaviour or abstract a third party API, yet I've never turned it into its own library. This year I'm keen to take that extra step and turn it into a fully fledged library that can be downloaded via NuGet.

Bonus Goal: F#

Having been watching the F# community closely for some time now I'm really interested in what it has to offer, so this year I'm considering jumping in and committing myself to learning it and becoming proficient in it. I've got a few side projects I plan on working on that I feel will be a great place to use F# so we'll see how that goes.

Conclusion

This concludes my personal targets for 2016. Whilst it's not an exclusive list of what I will be focusing on, it's certainly a list that I wish to feel I've made some progress on by the end of the year. I shall see how it goes and keep people updated.

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