2009 Year End Summary

As many do this time of year, I'm taking a few moments to review last years' goals and set new ones for this year. I don't do this lightly. I simply share them here as a form of public accountability. Without further ado…

  • BloggingMy goal for 2009 was to average 15 items/month across all of the various sites for a total of 180 posts. This year my posts have shown up on Blue Parabola (30), the TEK·X site (2), and here (81) for a total of 113 items. So I missed this one.
    • For 2010, I'm going to scale things back and target an average of 1 post/week on the primary sites I care about: CaseySoftware, Blue Parabola, and php|architect for a total of about 150 posts.
  • ConferencesMy goal for 2009, I wanted to speak at two conferences while attending another four. This was an easy one:
    • I started off the year with DrupalConDC; hit SXSW 2009 a couple weeks later; attended WordCamp Mid Atlantic; ran the unconference at php|tek in Chicago; crashed BarCampRDU thanks to Shaun Farrell; traveled with CodeWorks through San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and DC; ran the uncon at ZendCon 2009; spoke at WordCampNYC; and finally attended the Microsoft Web Dev Summit.
    • On speaking, I spoke at BarCampRDU, the ZendCon Uncon, WordCampNYC.
    • While this is a pretty clear success, this – combined with some customer-projects – meant that I traveled ~50 days this year.
    • For 2010, I'm shifting to a goal of three professional events each month. Some will entail travel, but in order to keep a regional focus, I've limited my professional travel to 25 days. I'm already slated to attend SXSW and TEK·X
  • SpeakingIn 2009, my goal was to give at least 6 professional-quality presentations to technical/business groups. This one was a little bit harder and I made it… sort of.
    • In addition to my three conference sessions from above, I spoke to DCPHP and Northern Virginia Linux Users' Group (NoVaLUG) on web2project. More interestingly, I started teaching for php|architect (4 classes, ~45 hrs total) and CDIA (3 classes, 120 hrs total). I'll call this goal met.
    • For speaking in 2010, I plan to deliver four conference/uncon sessions this year. I'm scheduled for two already. Further, I would like to give 50 hours of classroom instruction.
  • PublishingIn 2009, my goal was to have two formal articles published in professional magazines or journals. Although I've served as a tech reviewer for numerous articles and even a book, I published zero of my own articles, so this goes into the “loss” column.
    • For 2010, no change. I'm trying this one again.
  • Reading – In 2009, I didn't have a goal and although I kept up to date on blogs and articles, I read almost no books. While I don't think there's a huge problem with that immediately, I believe reading technical  concept books (not language/tech-specific books) is a long-term investment.
    • For 2010, I plan to read at least one technical book each month and review it on one of the above sites.
  • Customer RetentionIn 2009, my goal was to “rebuild and improve how CRM-type aspects are handled from top to bottom.” I failed here, not because I didn't do that, but because I didn't define anything measurable or useful to go along with that.
    • For 2010, I plan to expand out the web2project platform to integrate CRM aspects like customer communications, tracking, estimating, and general todo management. This should be ready for the v2.0 of web2project in June.
  • Community Contributions – I had lots of goals:
    • In 2009, I wanted to see web2project v1.0 to release. While we met that goal in June 2009, we exceeded it by quite a bit by making two point releases (v1.1 September, v1.2 December) and added Trevor Morse to the team. Even better, from January 1st 2009 to the v1.2 release, we trimmed over 40kloc and standardized much of the API. Overall, it was fantastic.
      • In 2010, I plan to continue sheparding web2project through its quarterly release cycle through v2.0 and beyond.
      • Further, I plan to develop an API that allows third party clients to interact with the system via a REST-like interface. As a proof of concept, I will build a client in a technology that I should be better familiar with such as AIR, XUL, PHP-GTK, Silverlight, or something similar.
    • In 2009, I wanted to continue the DCPHP Beverage Subgroup meetings, launch a more easily-updated DCPHP site, and grow the list from 250 to 400+. The Beverage Subgroup is still quite active, the new Drupal site is live even if it's quiet but the list took an odd turn. When we moved DCPHP to Google Groups in March 2009, over half the list was considered inactive so we dropped to 120. That said, in the 9 months since, we've grown to over 300. So although we missed one of these, we still saw fantastic growth.
      • In 2010, I'd like to grow the list to 400 and find at least three companies in the region to sponsor or engage the community in a publicly visible way. We have some of the best and brightest, these companies probably want to hire them.
      • In 2010, I'd like to put together a regional technology event focused on PHP, Ajax, or something similar. I think we can sell out 150 tickets as a first-year event.

Overall, out of 11 professional goals, I saw success on 7 of them. Not stellar but not bad either considering the results. This year I have a total of 13 many of which are complementary. We'll see how they go.

The 2008 End of Year Summary is here.

Are you interested in API Design? Check out our new book "A Pragmatic Approach to API Design." In it, we cover the basics on why you might need an API, how to get started on modeling your API, and finally some design patterns and anti-patterns to be aware of. Available soon from LeanPub