2014 Goals. Growth and Challenges

2014 Goals. Growth and Challenges

Rene Rubalcava | December 30, 2013

2013 turned out to be a pretty interesting year. Looking back at my goals for the year, I think I've done a pretty good job. I've had some new challenges, took on some new work and sharpened my current skills.

What I got done

I've really picked up the pace in terms of my JavaScript development. I've had to deal with fixing a bug in one app that also fixes bugs in other apps and manage updating those, so I've settled on this approach to this problem. My latest project that is nearly out the door has taught me more than I wanted to know about offline editing with the web-mapping APIs. (Spoiler, those gists are rough, and disconnected editing is a pain).

I finally went ahead and got my GISP. I don't necessarily need it, but I do have a business to run and certs are always a plus.

My small business (SmartGeotech) has been going pretty well. It lends me a lot of freedom to experiment with different technologies and try to find things that make our work easier. I have neat ideas for stuff I'd like to try here, but I'll leave that for future posts.

I told myself I wouldn't bother trying to learn any new languages this past year, but I stumbled across various screencasts and books on Clojure and I've grown quite fond of it. I've even been testing a couple of ClojureScript projects out. I'm going to move forward on this one. .NET and JavaScript pay my bills, but Clojure has captured my attention. I'm even thinking I might attend Clojure West this year if I can make time.

On a geeky note, I've switched to Linux as my main OS this year. I work primarily in Linux Mint, using Windows in VMWare for some other stuff. I'm becoming a command line pro as a result. Using some tools like Node and make files is just so much easier in Linux than on a Windows machine.

I'm an author

In 2013, I started writing a book on ArcGIS Web Development using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. This has been a whole new type of challenge. Let me tell you, there is little more humbling than having a copy editor review your writing. You begin to wonder how you ever finished middle school. This is a project that will be completed later this year and I have learned a lot from the whole experience. Enough so, I'm thinking of taking up part-time teaching of GIS classes.

What's ahead

Aside from finishing up the ArcGIS Web Development book, I'm hoping to be able to arrange my schedule to attend more conferences. I'll definitely be at the Esri Developer Summit and User Conference this year. I'm planning to attend JSGeo as well. I'm not sure what other conferences I'll try to attend and work into my schedule, but I'll keep my eyes open throughout 2014. I'm hoping to try and fly, on an actual plane this year. I have a couple of business trips I should fly to this year and yeah, I'm not a flyer, but I'll try.

I've been working with Leaflet more recently, especially using the Esri-Leaflet plugin, so that will probably continue this year. I've had a couple of inquiries to try some stuff using the Google Maps API as well, so it looks like I'll be digging into the full Google stack on some stuff.

I feel like I've really been growing professionally and as a developer these past few years and I hope to continue that trend going forward. I don't know where I'll be in 2014, but I'm always looking for new challenges.