Goodbye 2012, Welcome 2013

After a work-related hiatus, I am back to improving my GitHub Pages site and catching up on the items that I want to blog about. In this post, I will give you an update of what I have been working on and what I am planning on blogging about for the rest of my vacation.

2012 is almost over, and it seems to have passed by in a blur. I’ve been heads down for most of the year working on Neuron ESB in preparation for the 3.0 release which is due out within days. I was very fortunate to be able to take a break during Christmas week and will be off through New Years Day before returning to wrap up any bugs or loose ends on the Neuron ESB 3.0 release so that it can go out the door. After that, my professional focus will be on getting ready for the vNext release of Neuron, which I hope will be a 4.0 release in late 2013 or early 2014.

Now that I have been back as a full-fledged product developer after taking a 6-year hiatus to do software development consulting, I have to admit that I am having a lot more fun. There is something that is truly refreshing about product development versus consulting in that I feel more closely tied to the success of my product. As a consultant, my job was pretty much to get in to a client, complete a project, get the project into production, transition my role to someone else, and then to move on to find the next project to work on. As a product developer, I have allowed myself to become more emotionally involved in the success and future of my product to the point where once the release happens, my focus does not change. I continually think of and toy with new features or re-working existing features in order to make them better. I hope, for anyone who is using Neuron, that you see more of those benefits in the coming months as I have many interesting ideas planned to drive Neuron forward.

In my personal project life, I really need to refocus. I need to spend more time in 2013 blogging and getting out and interacting with the local community here in Phoenix. I want to do more presenting to user groups, do more Code Camp presentations here in Phoenix, and possibly start looking at doing Code Camps in other regions as well such as the Southern California code camp. I also have a backlog of personal pet projects that I really want to work on, as well as hopefully getting ImaginaryFinance into the Apple App Store for once and for all. I made a lot of progress with it over my Thanksgiving break, but I really need to get back in and work on it some more.

I am sure that I can attribute a lot of my personal project desires to the new MacBook Pro that I bought myself for Christmas. I love this thing so far, even though the monitor is a little smaller than I am used to. Here’s what I have:

  • MacBook Pro 15” with Retina Display
  • Intel 2.7Ghz quad-core i7 CPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512MB flash storage

I also have Parallels 8 installed and managed to fully configure Windows 8 to run in a VM so that I can do some Windows development with my Mac. This will hopefully be better than carrying two laptops when I travel for work or on vacation. I also managed to take advantage of the JetBrains Armageddon Sale before Christmas, so I’m rocking current versions of all of their IDEs. I’m looking forward to getting down to some Ruby and Python programming, and may even take a shot at PHP. We’ll see. I also bough AppCode, so I am looking forward to comparing how AppCode works as an IDE versus using Apple’s Xcode development environment.

I’m wrapping up 2012 by making some improvements to my personal website that is hosted here on GitHub using GitHub Pages. Look for some changes that will allow me to share more of what I am working on with you. I hope that I can do a better job of time management (something that I promise every year, but seems like a difficult promise to keep). But I will do what I can to make blogging a more regular endeavor so that I can be more active in sharing what I am working on so that you can take advantage of what I am doing.