By now you're probably sick and tired of reading, watching or hearing 2006 retrospectives and 2007 predictions. Of course there's always the perennial (forgive the pun) list of resolutions or goals for the new year.
And well I'm no different here (sorry!). Hopefully though by making my goals public there will be a sense of obligation that results in me sticking to the goals.
1) Learning more about the Java Language
I want to learn more about enums - they seem a nice promising addition but just how do they relate to objects and classes?
2) Writing Better Code
One area I'm less than happy with myself on is Exception Handling. Oh I can already do pretty well but the problem is I'm not always consistent in how I handle them. Sometimes I choose to wrap an exception, sometimes I just throw them in the method declaration, and sometimes I just log them. I've got to come up with a set of guidelines for myself, try them, change them if needed and then try to stick by them.
You'll often find me ranting on about Unit tests and, I have to say, that I still find them hard to write and write well, especially when there's a database involved. Should I load the DB with test data? How do I tell the test which database to point to (property file? VM args?)? Should I use mock objects?
Anyway I definitely want to find time to sit down and read JUnit Recipes from Manning press. I drool over it every time I'm at the bookstore (sorry for the imagery).
From less of a technology point of view I also want to read more of the writings of Peter Drucker. From what I've already read from him, he was a man well before his time with great insights into the nature of business and the emergence and important of the "knowledge worker".
I really should also pick up a copy of Securities Operations: A Guide to Trade and Position Management - I think it's a great idea for architects not just to stay current on technology but also to understand as much about the domain in which their application and users reside. For me that's the financial world of securities trading, compliance, mutual funds etc.
Then there's all the articles I end up reading either directed there from mailing lists or
blogs I read.
After re-reading some of my earlier blog entries, I realize my punctuation could do with a kick in the pants - too few commas and too many exclamation marks!!!!
5) Areas needing development
On the Myers Briggs Personality Type tests I show up as an INTJ and, as the last link makes clear, the small little interpersonal details that contribute to marketing oneself and to "networking" are not exactly the strength of the INTJ, but they're critical to one's success. It's also critical in being able to lead others.
(Normally I would be against pigeon holing anyone, least of all myself, but after taking the MBTI exam and reading about INTJs I've got to say it was really very accurate and also very insightful. As the famous psychologist David Keirsey put it " a word which captures the essence of INTJs is builder - a builder of systems")
Hopefully this time next year I can look back and see how well I've done against these goals.
Anyway, thanks for your patience, normal (not-so-self-serving) service will now resume . . .