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Please note what follows is an especially personal, especially rambling, look back at 2009. I don't think this blog entry will be useful to anyone but me, so be warned before reading any further!
As 2009 comes to a close, I have to say that it was a "pretty good" year. Not great, but not horrible either. As I hear more and more people on Twitter say that 2009 wasn't so hot but they are hopeful for 2010, I have to say that isn't the case for me. 2009 had it's bad spots for sure, but overall, I'm pretty satisfied.
On the work front, I began the year at Broadchoice, working hard on Workspace, an AIR/Flex/Groovy/Hibernate/Spring project. Things ended at Broadchoice in April, and not in a great way, but before then I had the opportunity to learn a heck of a lot. Thats much more invaluable then any one job. One of my resolutions for the year had been to become an "intermediate Flex" developer, and while that is somewhat of a vague term, I think I'm finally there.
After Broadchoice came to an end, I did a lot of contracting (and thank you to those of you who hooked me up). I began doing consulting for FirstComp after CFUNITED. For those who don't know, that's the company Jason Delmore ended up after Adobe. I'm happy to say that as of Monday of this week, I'm now a full time, "real" employee of FirstComp. While I never hurt for work (not looking forward to the tax bill this year), I"m happy to have a stable full time gig with one company. There are a lot of really nice, smart folks at FirstComp. Before meeting them I had no idea how big their ColdFusion implementation was and how much they had invested in it for their business. I also got to meet ImageTrend. They do consulting with FirstComp as well and are probably the largest ColdFusion shop you have never heard of. Lots of a smart guys (and gals!) there and I hope they get more exposure. They deserve it!
One resolution I did not mention was in regards to speaking. I felt like I had gotten into a "presentation rut" in 2008 and earlier, giving the same presentation over and over again. I decided that in 2009 I'd do my best to give all new, all fresh presentations. (I made an exception for the Online Meetup, where I was able to give presentations for free that I had earlier given at conferences.) This was a great decision. I gave new presentations on ORM, ColdSpring, Model-Glue, charting, and other topics. It was stressful, but fun. I'm going to try to keep it up for 2010 as well. I've submitted a topic to on FW/1 to cfObjective. If I'm not chosen to speak (not holding my breath this year), then I'll give it to the online meetup. I'm no FW/1 expert, but I plan to use it a lot more in 2010. While Model-Glue continues to be my favorite framework, FW/1 is damn skippy and comes in a close second for me. In a similar vein, I've fallen behind in my Flex skills recently. I want to spend some time researching Swiz. What better way to learn it then to force myself to present on it? I used Swiz back at Broadchoice, and it really helped me with what I considered to be my biggest issue with Flex - complexity.
This was the year I finally embraced Twitter. I'm still not exactly sure how useful it is - but not everything has to have a vital purpose, does it? And I'll be brutally honest, 2000+ followers does wonders for my already overblown ego. And while I'm on the topic of ego, it was very humbling to take home multiple community awards from CFUNITED this year. It's nice to see the community grow and expand. I'm adding new blogs to ColdFusion Bloggers every week. I hope more people decide to share their knowledge and experience in 2010. I know it's scary - but at the end of the day - we can all learn from one another.
This was also the year I pretty much stopped using Spry. I've taken the jQuery koolaid and am quite addicted. While I recommend jQuery to everyone with ears, I still have a lot of respect for Spry. It was my gateway drug to Ajax in general and is still, in my opinion, the best framework for non-technical folks or people who want a gentler introduction to Ajax development.
Oh, and Adobe released another ColdFusion. And it kicked ass. I'm still shocked at how fast ColdFusion 9 runs, and ORM has redefined application development for me. I've said in the past that ColdFusion is so RAD I could probably do more with version 4 then a PHP dev could do with their latest version. While I still think that (warning, I may be biased), I can't imagine going back to any earlier version of ColdFusion. That - to me - is how radically improved version 9 is. It's truly a high point in the history of the product. And yea, I'm biased as hell (hope to get my ColdFusion tattoo sometime soon), but that's what I think.
On a negative side, I discovered one aspect of my personality that I'm not happy about. I'm negative. I don't know if I come off as negative on the blog, or Twitter, and it may have just been temporary, but when things got bad at Broadchoice, I got unhappy (nothing wrong with that) and I don't think I handled it very well. Ok, I'll admit it - I think I handled it like crap. I think when things get rough, I can get into a mood that is just hard to shake off. I'm really happy I recognized that. I won't kid myself into thinking that I'll stop being so negative, but at least knowing I do gives me perspective. It's something I'm going to watch out for in the future.
So I'll wrap this now. I'm probably going to do a post tomorrow as well with more specific resolutions, it just depends on how crazy things get tonight. I want to say one last, very important thing.
I want to thank everyone who reads this blog. I want to thank everyone who comes to my presentations. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for your participation. I love code. I love talking about code. And without you guys, I'd be talking to myself, which is only slightly more weird for me than normal. I hope you guys stick around for 2010. I'd lie and say there will be less OT posts, less Star Wars jokes, and less rants, but, well, I think everyone here knows better.