It's a new year and that means that it's time to look back on the last year and analyze what worked and what didn't. Setting resolutions to reinforce the good habits and to stop the bad habits is one of the best ways to keep growing as a developer.
2012 in Review
- I kick-started and currently organize the Appleton WordPress Meetup group
- I implemented scalable backup solutions like Backup Buddy
- I wrote my first WordPress plugin, JotForm Integration
A Taste of What I Hope to Accomplish in 2013
My top goal for 2013 is to speak at a WordCamp. To do this I'll have to have either a really successful story to tell or I'll have to master a skill that other WordPress Developers want to have. To achieve this goal I have a couple of habits that I'm going to focus on.
My Programming Resolutions for 2013
1. Write Better Documentation
Having great documentation is something every developer should strive for. Helpful documentation is great not only for the end user who will be using it to implement the code but it is also incredibly useful for the developer writing it as it helps them to wrap their head around the whole project and it gives the developer a place to write concerns, gotchas, and a roadmap for future development.
I spent a lot of time writing documentation for my WordPress Google Font Picker Control plugin for the Theme Customizer section in the WordPress admin. I've included a lot of information about the usage, sample code, faqs, and what the final result should look like. I think there is still room to grow (ex. it would be nice to have a roadmap of where I want the plugin to go) but it is an excellent example of what I want all of my documentation to look like.
2. a Code Review Will Help With Any Inefficiencies
I've been working at Burnham Richards for two years and the entire time I've been the only developer. That means that I haven't had another developer look at any of the code I've written for two whole years. The scary thing about this is that I could be writing code incorrectly or inefficiently and could have been doing so for two years without anyone saying anything! I know that there are always better ways to write code and the modern methods are always changing. Having someone take a peek at my code should make sure that I'm following the modern conventions and not making any silly mistakes.
3. Meet More Developers
I know how to solve simple problems involving WordPress and now I want to talk to other developers and start talking about how to solve the complex problems. I want to move away from, “how come this css selector isn't working?” and move towards problems of UX, performance, scalability, etc. The best way to do this is to develop your personal network and help other developers with their problems. Then when you have some of your own complex problems that require creative solutions they should be willing to throw in their 2 cents.
I've had enormous success with the WordPress Meetup in Appleton and I'm hoping that by meeting other developers I can increase my knowledge even further.
What are your programming resolutions?
Awesome to hear about your progress and where you hope to go in 2013, Patrick! I’m in a similar position with not really having anyone to look over my code, so let me know if you want to do some code reviews together!
Sounds good! I’ll hit you up when I’m back in town. 🙂