Starbucks-fueled Developer

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"The More You Know"

...is not neccesarily "half the battle"...

I feel as though I've been going through a really rough stage in my professional life. The biggest struggle that I am facing is the fact that I feel as though there's a lot of stuff out there that I'm really, really excited about and anxiously trying to [find the time to] learn. Really, I'm mean my head is almost spinning. Take a look at this list - in no order nor comprehensive:

  • Test-Driven Development (.NET Style)
  • VS/TS 2005 and Framework 2.0
  • Effective and Reasonable Licensing of MS development tools
  • Customer Driven Tests/Acceptance Tests with FIT
  • Agile methodologies (Scrum and eXtreme Programming)
  • Continuous Integration/Build Servers
  • MCAD/MCSD Certification
The most frustrating of them is the last item, as I've already past one test, but mistakenly was credited to my father because the testing center (my own employer) thought I was him (same names...) and it's been over a year in trying to resolve it...

.NET 2.0 is going to be amazing and I'm really looking forward to it - if my company can afford to upgrade, which is where the volume licensing comes in.

The remaining topics can all be gathered under the umbrella of agile software development. My interest in these topics started my senior year in college when I took an intro to software engineering class. I considered investigating a related masters, but me being the over-achiever that I tend to be only looked into the program at CMU, which is crazy intense and I really didn't have that much motivation to persue it nevermind the prerequisits.

When you get right down to it, I'm really interested in the whole process of the Agile methodologies and the amazing tools that are available to help groups in implementing them, such as CruiseControl.NET, NAnt, NUnit, and FIT to name a few and, [un]fortunately, they're all related. So, you really can't just pick one (well you can...work with me people!). Personally, I'd like to roll my own CC.NET for the experience, but I fear that'll go down the path of all my other rather ambitious software project ideas...

So, for now, I'll probably have to work extremely hard to focus my effort at the easiest and most (immediately) rewarding: finishing my MS certifications. Within that, I can be working on my TDD and refactoring skills, since my day-job won't be studying/preparing for the exams. This, hopefully, will flow into learning Framework V2.0 and related tools. This doesn't leave much room for the other facets of Agile methodologies that I've mentioned; hopefully, I will be able to continue the work that some of my team members have started in this area, as time permits.

This wasn't meant to be an introspective professional review or assessment, but it kind of turned into one that resulted in a plan...at least on (digital) paper...

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