Personal Challenges for 2009

Inspired by two people I really respect, I’ve decided to give myself a few goals for the new year. Here are the areas I’d like to explore/improve upon…

1) I’ve been building websites since 1996 so when it comes to HTML, I’m a bit old school. Tables, inline styles, inline javascript, all those things that I’m told are bad are second nature to me. I understand, and agree with, the goals of being unobtrusive, but it’s hard for me to actually abide by those ideals. Hopefully, this will be the year where I break away from my bad habits.

2) Adam, on his on his 2009 list, brings up a good point in testing Javascript. CloudShout relies heavily on Javascript, and it makes 100% sense that those parts of the app are well tested. Thus, Javascript Testing is one of the top items I will be looking into.

3) Organize my accounts. As everyone, I have accounts with lots of web services. Be it Flickr, Twitter, Blogger, etc. However, sometimes I’m good old Daniel, and other times I’m Daniel @ IZEA. I want to break away from my split personality and combine them into one Daniel, if that makes any sense. 🙂

4) I’ve been programming with Python for about 7 months now and I really like it. It reminds me a lot of Javascript, so much sometimes I find myself writing Python in a .JS file or vice versa. I’d really like to become more proficient in this language, to squeeze every ounce of power from it, so another thing I’d like to tackle this year is to improve my knowledge of Python.

5) Beside becoming more proficient with my current language toolbox, I’d also like to pick up a new one. I remember one bright morning, walking with Pete to grab a coffee, and he filling me in on the coolness of Erlang. Ever since then, it’s been something I’ve wanted to look further into. And so, I think I’ll take some time this year to learn a bit more about Erlang and write a few applications.

6) Write my own lightweight HTTP server. Big apps are old news. To put my reasons into perspective here, let’s image a method that is, say, 40 lines of code. Nightmare, right? The rule is to refactor that into smaller chucks, and why should a web application be any different. Why does a web app need to do EVERY business requirement. I see smaller web apps, that all handle a specific task. A signup app, a mailer app, an API app, etc. We recently did this with IZEARanks, breaking out a load heavy function into it’s own app. So when the load increases there, the core app is not affected. Ok, I’m getting a little off topic now, but this relates back to writing my own server because I don’t see a reason to put a full featured HTTP server in front of code that only needs to handle post data, for instance. Granted, I don’t know much about HTTP servers but I’d like to investigate what’s actually capable.

Well that’s it. I hope everyone has a great year! 🙂

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4 comments

  1. Erlang definitely looks like fun. There’s a lot of uses for it at IZEA too, so should get a chance to use it this coming year (well, we are using it, but should be digging deeper into it).

  2. Erlang definitely looks like fun. There’s a lot of uses for it at IZEA too, so should get a chance to use it this coming year (well, we are using it, but should be digging deeper into it).


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