Like many other people around the world I have made numerous New Years resolutions over the years and come March they are all but forgotten. Now I don't smoke and I don't drink (to excess anyway) but I do carry a few extra pounds around with me - and they have been there for a few years now despite numerous "I will eat less/better this year" resolutions.
The fact of the matter is this; If you don't want to do something, you won't. Simple as that. So this year I thought that I would think of something that I would want to do (and not something that other people think I should do!) I currently work as a developer for a company using the Microsoft .NET 2.0 technologies and consider myself to be competant in VB.NET and C# for the development of ASP.NET applications. However, the technologies never stand still and I have still to look at the advances in .NET 3.5 such as LINQ so maybe I should resolve to dig into 3.5 even though the company does not yet implement it. I mean, I may not be working here forever and in the current climate it is wise to keep yourself as up to date as possible.
Mind you, when i was looking for a new job recently (and found this one) there were a lot of vacancies for developers with experience in the Open Source languages such as Python, PHP, Perl etc. Now I have tinkered with Python and PHP in the past when I was at University but never carried on once I had graduated. I have also toyed around with Linux (mainly Red Hat) but never really put the time into it for it to become anything more than a bit of fun.
So what if I could come up with some way of keeping my Microsoft knowledge upto date and add some of the Open Source skills as well? I cannot move from one side of the fence to the other but to climb up onto the fence so that I can see both sides.
So, this is my resolution:
"I'll devise some pet projects that will require the acquisition of new skills in the latest .NET Framework AND attempt to replicate the same functionality in an Open Source language."
I have selected C# and Python as my Microsoft and Open Source options respectively for Desktop Based applications and ASP.NET(C#) and PHP for my Browser Based applications. I may change this in the future but it seems like a good place to start for now.