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George Clingerman       XNADevelopment.com

Today marks the start of my journey to becoming a better developer. I am telling you all about it so that I can be held accountable for things I am about to say. I did not want to over think this but I did want to do things that challenged me as a developer on a variety of level. This is the current list of 6 months goals. I will not remove anything from this list, but I may add to it as I begin this journey to improve as a developer.

 

I will read 1 technical book every month for the next 6 months.

I read a lot. Often 5 or 6 books in a week. But I do NOT read technical books. I never have. I have a long list of books that every developer should have read, but I have yet to read any of them. I always say, "Yeah, I should read that sometime". I am going to start changing that now. First up on my list is "Code Complete". I will take recommendations for my next 5 technical books that a developer should read.

 

I will write one XNA framework tutorial or game demo every month for the next 6 months.

I am a Microsoft XNA MVP. I need to make sure I'm making it a priority to show why I deserve the title. I need to challenge myself to keep to a regular schedule of releases. Writing the tutorials are time consuming and challenging, but I have improved as a developer with every new game demo or tutorial released on my site. I am going to make sure that becomes a habit.

 

I will do one team presentation at work every month for the next 6 months.

I am constantly mentioning new technologies or suggesting new "best practices" to my development team, but it is time for me to step up and begin teaching. I will present something to the development team at work at least once a month. My first presentation will be in July and will be on something every developer can use. Improving your debugging skills based off this wonderful article.

 

I will write one blog post every week for the next 6 months.

I love to write. I really do. So why don't I blog more often? Same reasons I didn't start down this path to becoming a better developer. Writing one blog post every week is going to be challenging for me, especially when looking at my past track record, but I know that I should. If I want to become a better developer, I need to write about being a developer. That includes all aspects of being a developer and I need to start learning how to do that more consistently.

 

So that's the start of it for me. Those four will be major changes in my current development lifestyle. I want to do this because I really believe in this process and I'm still kicking myself that it took me this long to get started. I'm on board now Justice, let's get this movement moving.

I will now tag four other developers to continue this developer revolution. Chris, I know you're busy but I want to throw this challenge out to you as well. You have your hand in so many technologies and you learn them all so quickly. You're also an inspiration to a ton of developers and everyone loves "that developer with all the tattoos". I want you to set some goals for yourself and share some of those tricks you've learned as a traveling developer. Next, I'm going to tag two other big fish that can really use their power to get things rolling in this better developer movement. Rory, you're a developer at heart, so I do want you to challenge yourself to be a better one. I also want to extend the challenge for both you and Jason (yeah, I'm tagging you as well big guy) to not only improve yourselves, but to seriously try and think of a way to inspire your worldwide audience of developers to improve. Help us help ourselves. Finally, I'm going to take a group of developers that I work with. These are the guys I work and talk with the most so I want them to start thinking about this. Jonathan, Rick, Aaron, Sean and Tim. You guys all need to take up this challenge and get moving (you guys need to get some blogs too!). 

I'm going to keep on eye on the people I've tagged and if they don't start moving on this, I'll tag some others so we can get this spreading. If you've read this and feel the call, consider yourself tagged. Just make a comment to let me know that you've started the process and I'll add you to my list of "The Brotherhood of Becoming Better Developers".   

Posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 9:41 AM The Brotherhood of Becoming Better Developers | Back to top


Comments on this post: How I am becoming a better developer...

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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Wow, that's an ambitious set of goals! Best of luck with it all.

Regarding books, this is one of my favorites:

http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Programming-Brian-W-Kernighan/dp/020161586X

The specific techniques they talk about are pretty dated, but the overall attitude and way of thinking about solving programming problems is just spot on. Plus it is one of the thinnest technology books ever. Lots of wisdom distilled into not very many pages.
Left by Shawn Hargreaves on Jun 22, 2007 10:51 AM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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Dude, welcome to the new regime! Your goals are totally doable! You can do it mang, you can do it!

D
Left by D'Arcy from Winnipeg on Jun 24, 2007 6:47 AM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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Hey, I'm with you. I'm thinking of focusing on Acropolis. I'm focused on finishing up the MCPD program before I read too many other technical books though.
Left by Shadowin on Jun 24, 2007 10:33 AM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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I Accept!
Left by Sean on Jun 28, 2007 3:59 PM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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I'm in.
Left by Jonathan Paullin on Jul 02, 2007 6:24 AM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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Books:
The structure and interpretation of Computer Programs by Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman.

Code Complete by Steve Mcconnell.

Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley.

If you do C++ a lot then

C++ Templates by David Vandevoorde and Nicolai M. Josuttis

and every C++ developer should read

The C++ Programming Language
(Third Edition) by Bjarne Stroustrup

at least once in their career.

There are others as well but those would be a good start.

Left by Andy on Jul 05, 2007 2:00 PM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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how are your goals going?

have you read refactoring by martin fowler? did a piece on my blog in .net that was fun. the book is killer.

http://www.jamespeckham.com/blog/default.aspx?id=81&t=Refactoring-Part-7-Replacing-conditiona
Left by james peckham on Apr 01, 2008 7:11 PM

# re: How I am becoming a better developer...
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I'm in too, thank you.
Left by epilation intime on Jan 16, 2011 9:17 PM

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