It’s time for our annual ritual of creating a list of idealistic and ultimately unrealistic goals called “New Years Resolutions” that we pledge to adopt for the coming year but usually abandon by late January. Wikipedia defines a New Years Resolution as a commitment that an individual makes to finishing a project, reforming a habit or making a positive lifestyle change.
Although computer programmers are an intelligent bunch, our higher technical capabilities often translate into lower social and people skills. Plus we are constantly seeking to improve our technical knowledge by learning new tricks and tools. Therefore, programmers can benefit from New Years Resolutions as much as anyone.
Following is a list of 15 suggested New Years Resolutions for Computer Programmers. These are not my personal resolutions, which are specific to my current projects and therefore likely boring to you. Rather, these are resolutions that may apply to any programmer.
New Years Resolutions for Computer Programmers
- Realize that design patterns are a guide, not a religion.
- Don’t use the term “alpha,” when what I really mean is “buggy, untested, crap-tastic” software.
- Increase my text editor font size by one point — my eyes are one year older.
- Get a job
- Read a new book each quarter.
- Re-read some of the time-tested books for developers like Code Complete and Pragmatic Programmer.
- Learn a functional programming language.
- Deliver a software project on time, for once.
- Be nice to the people who pay me.
- Don’t get involved in any more open source projects until I finish the projects I’m currently working on.
- Make an encrypted Emergency Getaway Drive with my important data.
- Understand UNICODE and incorporate it in my applications.
- Get a girlfriend (a real one this time).
- Finally donate to those groups/people whose applications, code and blogs I use on a daily basis.
- Get away from the computer.