A New Year Cometh

So it’s New Years Eve and looking back at the last year I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone.
Since deciding to leave the rat race that is permanent employment in favor of contracting I not been out of work for long and the short time between contracts has been useful for getting up to speed with new techniques and technologies. Nobody can know it all, it’s just not possible, so I carefully pick my fights in terms of what I invest time in learning.

This year I intend to focus on a handful of technologies:

  • MVC 3/4
  • Entity Framework
  • Umbraco
  • Javascript libraries such as backbone.js and node.js

While I’ve been working with MVC and Entity Framework for a while my most recent contract has been using MVC2 and nHibernate which has meant that I’ve not had time to be keeping up to date with new developments such as MVC4 and Entity Framework 5. I intend to be working with these new technologies, along with Visual Studio 2012, to develop a couple of pet projects.

The last two items in the list are quite new to me. I’ve worked with Umbraco in the past but only in a limited manner – I developed custom controls and forms but did not work with the installation and configuration of the actual site. I had considered the idea of migrating this blog from Drupal but I’ve decided to develop a friends website using Umbraco instead.
As for the Javascript libraries, well I’ve been hearing about them quite a lot on numerous podcasts so it would be silly to just ignore them. If they turn out not to offer any benefits to me in terms of what I can offer as a contractor then I’ve got a few more things to look at instead.

All in all I’m looking forward to 2013 and hope that it will be as challenging and rewarding as 2012 has been.