My Personal and Professional Goals for 2011

December 29, 2010

Around the same time last year, I wrote this blog post where I’ve set out a couple of things to learn throughout the year. Being really honest with myself, I must admit that I could have done better. Nevertheless, I did manage to spend some free time on learning new stuff and broadening my existing knowledge.

Retrospective of 2010:

  • I did get to learn more about NServiceBus. I’ve been working on a small sample application that is built using NServiceBus, where I also tried to apply CQRS and event sourcing. I’m still working on this simple application and I’m hoping to get this up on GitHub at some point.
  • I spent most of my free time this year learning more about web development. I’ve been looking into ASP.NET MVC (which I’m also using in the sample application that I mentioned earlier), JavaScript and jQuery as well as HTML and CSS.
  • The programming language I learned in 2010 is JavaScript. This great programming language is finally making its way from client-side scripting in the browser to other platforms like server-side development with Node.js and on the database with a number of popular NoSQL document databases like CouchDB and MongoDB. Learning JavaScript most certainly challenged the way I’m writing code in C# as well.
  • I’m currently taking a deep plunge into Node.js, learning more about building server-side web applications using JavaScript. This experience most certainly led me to a better understanding of the problems that the various web application frameworks out there are trying to solve.  
  • I did get around to organize 10 E-VAN sessions in 2010. I want to thank all the speakers and those who contributed in the discussions for all their efforts. I hope most of the attendees were able to learn something. I know I did.
  • I was hoping to put out more blog posts in 2010, which I failed miserably. Almost all blog posts I wrote this year are about topics I’ve been working on in my spare time. The only explanation I can come up with is that I haven’t learned anything during my day job this year. Luckily I was already able to fix that for next year.
  • Sadly, I haven’t been able to learn more about MongoDB, Fubu MVC, Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
  • I’ve been able to read twelve books this past year, which is not bad but not great either. I’ve been doing more coding in my free time (which is obviously a good thing), but I think this has been at the expense of my reading time.

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2011:


  • Attending a Code Retreat made me realize that I need to further invest in my TDD/BDD skills, certainly the part of letting my tests drive the design of the system.
  • I also decided that I need to become proficient with another editor besides Visual Studio. E-Text Editor and/or Vim are the ones that carry away most of my interest so I’m going to give these a try.
  • I desperately need to learn more about Git and see whether its use can convince me to move away from Subversion.          
  • Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. Seriously, Ruby is the next programming language I’m going to learn. I hope that I’m also able to spend some time learning Ruby on Rails as well.
  • I’m also going to continue learning more about web development. I definitely need to further improve on my JavaScript coding skills, trying to develop more robust and maintainable client-side code in the process. HTML 5 and CSS 3 are topics that are high on my list as well.
  • MongoDB is back on the list again as I still find this whole NoSQL stuff very fascinating.
  • Further broadening my existing skills for the .NET platform. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be overwhelmed with all the stuff I’m going to learn on my new job.      


  • I’m going to continue to organize new European VAN sessions throughout 2011. If you want to see a session on particular topic or you want to do a talk, then please let me know. Also feel free to get in touch with me if you want to help organizing these sessions.
  • I definitely need to blog more. I’ll be very happy if I can keep up my current pace of writing at least one blog post every week. Fingers crossed ;-).
  • There’s one area where I feel that I need to step up, and that is public speaking. Up until this point I’ve only been doing short presentations for small groups of people. It’s my plan to work on my presentation and speaking skills, and the best way of doing that is to overcome my performance anxiety and get out there and talk.
  • I also need to contribute more to open-source projects, especially in the .NET space where contributions are very much needed. My plan is to do at least five contributions (big or small, doesn’t matter) throughout 2011.       


  • First and foremost, I have to continue to invest in my family and personal relationships. This might sound obvious, but having a good work-life balance is very important and continually learning, improving and working on this is essential for any knowledge worker out there.
  • Obviously, I’m going to keep investing in my health by working out. I’ve been running for a couple of years now. I already lost a massive amount of weight and this has been paying off during the street runs I’ve participated throughout the year (less weight == running faster ;-) ). I’m going to keep investing in doing longer distances and also running faster.

I’ve set out some ambitious goals for myself in 2011 and I hope I get to realize most of them. Only time will tell. All that’s left for me now is to wish you an awesome New Year.

Until next year.  

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Jan Van Ryswyck

Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m a professional software developer since Y2K. A blogger since Y2K+5. Provider of training and coaching in XP practices. Curator of the Awesome Talks list. Past organizer of the European Virtual ALT.NET meetings. Thinking and learning about all kinds of technologies since forever.



Thank you for visiting my website. I’m a professional software developer since Y2K. A blogger since Y2K+5. Author of Writing Maintainable Unit Tests. Provider of training and coaching in XP practices. Curator of the Awesome Talks list. Thinking and learning about all kinds of technologies since forever.

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(+32) 496 38 00 82