Today is my first day back at work after a 3 months sabbatical due to the birth of my second son. The three months were a great time with my family. Also a great oppertunity to think about what I want to do afterwards.
In the past I spend a lot of vacation days to join Open Source events and also worked frequently during the night to program and to maintain my website. This was possible as I had a lot of remaining vacation days from the first 3-5 years of my employment in which I basically did not take any vacation.
I very much enjoy what I’m doing in my primary employment but I also enjoy programming in the Open Source world and writing and speaking about it.
Therefore I decided to reduce my worktime to an average of 60%. I guess this is the the proof that it is possible to trade money against time.
In additional my employer asked me if he could leverage my mobile knowledge. Therefore I will change responsiblity and will be responsible for the mobile solutions of a certain area.
Fun times ahead!
In April I started the challenge of the month. The idea is that every now and then I do something different for a month and see if I like it.
My first challenge was to speak only spanish with my family to finally learn it. I think we managed to speak spanish 70-80% of the time (sometimes we were just to tired to do so). To my surprise I was dead tired in this time, seems to be that my brain had a real challenge to manage.
I think it was a success, at least I’m not that uncomfortable anymore to speak spanish.
My temporary re-assignment to the US is ending this week; time to think about what I liked.
I believe the greatest thing was to experience a different culture together with my family. I also learned how fast time passes by.
I’ve been traveling quite a bit in my life but I never stayed an extended period in a foreign culture and it was always difficult to combine such trips with my social life.
California for us was great; it was amazing to experience the vibe of Silicon Valley. I enjoyed lots of mexican food, worked with hardware in the Techshop, had the opportunity to join several Java User Groups meetings and EclipseCon. I also loved biking to work and the mild climate.
Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley and Yosemiti are great places to visit.
I also met lot of interesting people; both at work and privately.
This was fun.
There are lots and lots of exciting technologies available. Programming languages like Scala, Groovy, JavaFX, C# and frameworks as Spring, Grails, Lift, and lots more. Even within one area, for example the Eclipse framework, there are a legion of frameworks and projects which allow make things easier.
In my blog entry Predictable Irrational I discussed already that people have a tendency to leave too many options open. Having too many options open can be harmful as it prevents someone from putting focus into something. Unfortunately I’m not an exception to that tendency.
I decided that I should select 5 things for 2010 which I would like to have place a focus upon. This doesn’t mean that I won’t do anything else but I would like to define certain focus topics which I would like to gain knowledge about.
Ok and here is the list:
Eclipse with focus on Eclipse e4
Hadoop / MapReduce
Google App Engine
Even though these are still big areas it is less then what I’m currently have on my list of things.
So why did I selected these topics?
Android is a fun platform and has a amazing programming interface which is intuitive, easy to use and fun. GWT is just to good to be ignored and the GAE provides such an easy mechanisms to host web application that I have to continue to use it.
Hadoop and distributed computing are clearly the future for the most interesting problem solving approaches. Hadoop might also provide a solution of the the usage of multi-core machines.
Eclipse, Eclipse e4 and the whole Eclipse community is very deeply implanted in my heard therefore I have to stay in this area. In addition I’m still highly influenced by the book “Pragmatic programmer” and I still believe that the advice “Know your tools well” is one of the best advices I have ever heard.
Which technologies do you think will be most relevant for you in this year?