Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for 2014

Hardly a secret, but 2013 was an extremely busy year for me at the day-job. It pays the bills and I take my duties there very seriously, at the cost of after-hours activities. As a result, this blog has been neglected, and I didn't get to push out the updates I had planned. In short, something has to change - and here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2014…

1) Finish what I start

Can you believe I have updates laying around for each and every one of my Quartam libraries? Ranging from bug fixes over performance enhancements to entirely new features. All locked on the hard drives of 3 computers.
It is time to wrap these up and get them out there for you to enjoy and put to good use.

2) Tell you all about it

Over the next few weeks, I will post status updates for each library, including projected release dates. Bear in mind that my day-job takes precedence, so don't come brandishing torches and pitchforks if I miss some of these self-imposed deadlines.
In addition, when I figure out a solution in reply to one of your emails, I will try and generify it a bit so that I can post it here as a tip. Or maybe write up a lesson to post on if that's a better format.

3) Work more efficiently

One of the things that I enjoyed while contributing to the LiveCode engine, was their adoption of GitHub. So one of my next items to investigate is Monte Goulding's lcVCS plugin, which provides stack export/import facilities aimed at version control support. From there, it's a small step to placing code on Github, and applying the GitFlow model to manage branches.
Somewhat related is the adoption of a proper bug tracker. Right now I juggle a few Excel sheets, and feed stuff from the forums or direct mails into them. Which means things get reported multiple times, or I accidentally delete entries. Maybe Github will help for the open-source projects, but I still need a better solution for closed-source projects.
Another aspect, tightly coupled to the first two resolutions, is to build checklists for releasing new products and updates, and see which items on these lists can be automated.

4) Have more fun

As a techie, there are few things that give me more pleasure than figuring out how to make something work. Exploring new technologies is something I thrive on. And if anything good comes out of these experiments, I'll be sure to share it here.
Plus, I plan to pick up my guitar more often. Maybe even take actual guitar lessons if time permits, so my neighbours have some different songs to listen to ;-)