Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 – The Year in Review

With only six posts the entire year, 2009 was my lightest ever for blogging, although I continue to be active on Twitter (here). I don’t see that changing in 2010. Still, as is my custom, I post herewith a review of 2009, both personal and professional.

Looking back on my review of 2008, it seems that 2009 was a year of relative stability for me. I continued to work on pretty much the same stuff: primarily MSDN, but a few side projects whenever I could wedge in some free time. And outside of work, family consumes the bulk of my time, although I still manage to run and to occasionally do something else fun (like fly the Black Shark – ping me if you want to join us!).

The MSDN work has remained interesting, particularly in giving me the chance to work on Visual Studio 2010 itself. That’s right, I have code that will ship in the box! Specifically in the bit that supports offline help. It was quite an experience to work on so large a project, and I’m definitely looking forward to installing the final bits when they are released later this year.

A few random highlights from the year:

  • I bought an iPod Touch, which I totally love. I use it constantly, and if it ever broke I’d buy another on in a heartbeat.
  • Clojure remains the most interesting programming language I know. I donated twice in 2009, and would encourage you to do the same (donating just once would be fine). Even if you don’t care about Clojure - although any serious programmer owes it to themselves to check it out - I assure you that Rich is doing a lot to advance the state of the art in concurrent programming and is worthy of your support.
  • I read a graphic novel version of “The Hobbit” to my five-year-old…four times.
  • We made some progress on the basement, but am still (somewhat depressingly) not done.
  • I started using git seriously, and think it’s pretty cool.
  • I ran in a track meet for the first time since college. And didn’t suck…as much as I thought I would.
  • I started playing bass again. Badly, but I don’t care.
  • I saw four movies in an actual theater: Earth, Terminator, Harry Potter, Star Trek. That’s roughly four more than I usually see, at least since the kids were born.
  • We did lots and lots of travel: I was away from home for a cumulative total of over two months last year, including one trip to Asia. Alice and the girls were away for around three months if you add it up, including a second trip to Asia without me. Crazy.

As for what 2010 holds, I’m honestly not sure. On the personal front, it would be great to finish the basement. But bigger than that by far looms the shadow of Kindergarten, which our older daughter will enter in the fall. I’m sure it’ll be a big transition for everyone around here, particularly in the mornings, which tend to run on the late side most days. But we’ll handle it like we handle everything else. And I’m sure we’ll keep traveling, but hopefully not quite as much.

On the work front I really have no idea. I’m continuing to work with MSDN, and that will go on for at least a bit longer, but the life of an independent contractor is filled with uncertainty, and there’s the distinct possibility I’ll have to do a fairly serious (and possibly lengthy) search for work at some point. But as I’ve said before, it’s the rare challenge that doesn’t pose an opportunity.

Good luck to you in 2010!