Things to Do in 2009

05 January 2009 by Mathias Meyer

So you're still looking for things to do in the new year, eh?

Let me get you started:

  • Refactor some ugly code. There's nothing more that'll teach you about how code should look than ugly legacy code. You'll be sure to find some in the next project at hand. Rip it apart, throw a big test suite at it, and get going. A very satisfying work, though I wouldn't recommend to continually do it, working with ugly code I mean. I like ripping apart stuff, but I also enjoy working on code that's clean and minty-fresh already.

    I've done my fair share of this over the last year. It's fun, challenging, satisfying, annoying and exhausting. My lesson learned over last year: Mocks are mocking you.

  • Read books. Yeah, yeah, same old. So?

  • Help out an open source project. OpenOffice.org is apparently short of developers. Just kidding, there's always work to do on existing projects, if you can't come up with something new on your own. Good maintainers will happily accept your patches. But you did write tests for them, did you?

  • Don't write a plugin. Yeah, plugins are so 2007. Make it a gem instead.

  • Put out code. Did I say you don't have to come up with your own projects? I take that back. Write fun apps, write serious apps. Put them up on GitHub. They'll be your future CV.

  • A new year, a new language. For me, last year's new language was photography. Weird eh? But I opted for learning as much as possible about photography, film (sorry, no digital photography to see here) and Polaroid as I could, instead of learning a new language. I'm not completely happy about it, but on the other hand I am.

  • Add some new tools to your box. For me, those will be mostly testing tools, like Cucumber, a decent JavaScript testing library, but also RubyCocoa (incl. MacRuby of course, but I liked RubyCocoa even without it).

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