The Only Lars

Byte-sized adventures in software engineering

2013 Personal Achievements

Everyone makes at least some attempt at resolutions each new year - even if they say they “don’t make resolutions”. How can you go through life without goals to better yourself as a person? Based on my past, though, we very often do not write them down or forget about them entirely before the end of January.

The problem with goals of mine in the past have always been that they are very generic and/or very difficult to satisfy. I have made a deliberate effort to make my goals for this year both small and specific. This will make it much more difficult to justify my way out of satisfying my goals for this year and much easier to satisfy more goals is they are more achievable.

So, in the spirit of both personal growth and gamification, I bring you my personal1 list of “achievements” for 2013.

Achievements must be:

  1. Specific - Specific goals have less room to be “justified” by you as “technically” completed. Examples include “Learn C”, “Run More”, etc.
  2. Quantifiable - This goes with being specific. This makes it very clear as to the completion of your achievement. Did you <insert achievement title>? Yes? Then you did. Easy.
  3. Achievable - If you’re a brand new engineer now, your goal should not be to become director of your department this year.

What are your 2013 achievements? Feel free to steal mine below if you so choose.

Thanks to @adamwhitcroft for the achievement icons.

Build and release Small Mac app to app store

I know nothing about AppKit. I hope to change that in 2013.

Visually Design Small Mac App

I would like to get into designing user interfaces instead of just being awesome at building them. I would at least like to have a general idea of how designers do what they do. This is my attempt at taking up more pure design-related tasks this year.

Build and Release Another iOS App

I have had Droid Light in the store for years with nothing else on the store. This includes design (as with Mac app) and dev work.

Open Source Two New Projects

It feels good, so I continue to do it. Doesn’t matter the size of project, but I would prefer they not be single-method objective-c class categories or similarly small. My definition of “open-source” is functional, public and useful to others.

Open source five new projects

Stretch goal.

Open source one project at Mutual Mobile

This has really been an outstanding goal of mine since I started working at Mutual Mobile in 2011. This is now quantified here and is a “graduation requirement” for 2013.

Contribute to one large open source project

Stop leeching. Contribute back to projects you use and find useful. This does not include submitting issues on GitHub or projects contributed to in 2012. “Large” is defined by me as more than 500 stargazers on GitHub. “Contribution” is defined by me as a pull request.

contribute to three small open source projects

Small projects need love, too. “Small” is defined by me as not “large” (<500 stargazers).
  1. scopegate/octave (0ff60ac) - Added demo project for sounds

Learn SVN CLI well enough to abandon cornerstone

I’m sick of being dependent on Cornerstone’s UI. Let’s get some real work done. Quantification: Learn CLI well enough to not use cornerstone for one project sprint.

Read three non-technical books

I don’t read enough. I read plenty of technical content, but not near enough book-books (some rare individuals call this “fun” reading).
  1. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) - Tom Vanderbilt

Read Five non-technical books

Stretch goal.

Write an OpenGL shader

I’ve tried learning OpenGL so many times. This time I’m starting small and quantifying my learning. Not just “Learn OpenGL”. That doesn’t work.

Not end up in the ER

I ended up in the ER last year for something stupid. Let’s not do that again, shall we?

Ride my mountain bike without becoming injured

I started mountain biking again last year for the first time since college. I built the bike myself, but evidently knew nothing about properly fitting myself. I since injured my knee from overuse and am now still recovering. If I can ride regularly this year without worrying about my knee, I’ll consider this a win.

Start a new blog

I’ve been talking with guys at work about starting a Core Animation/Core Graphics themed blog. I think this is a very good idea.

40 blog posts

This is not quite one blog post a week. My writing has already gotten better since I started this blog. I highly recommend this to anyone thinking about it. I don’t really care that nobody reads this stuff. Also - this page totally counts as a post.

Start a regular “column” on my blog.

A “Column” is defined by me as a set of regular posts with a common theme.

1: I’ve omitted the truly personal achievements about my life like friends, family, etc.