Jef Claes

On software and life

29 Dec 2010

Reviewing and renewing resolutions

My career

I’m still working on the same projects as I was last year: Firestation Antwerp and Ghent. This year we did not build a lot of brand new things, but we have added a decent amount of new functionalities. Next to that there were a bunch of bugs to fix and technical debt to pay off. I learned a lot from the mistakes we made and refactoring makes you really think about what good and clean code should look like.

In 2011 I will still be spending time on Firestation Antwerp and Ghent. There is a hazy bright light on the horizon though, chances are there is a new interesting challenge ahead.

This year I had some fun side-challenges. I gave internal technical sessions on ASP.NET 4 & ASP.NET AJAX, something I enjoyed doing more than I thought. I also passed the MCTS 70-536 exam, which I didn’t enjoy studying for that much. In 2011 I want to pass at least one MCTS ASP.NET exam, and give more technical sessions.


I have written 62 posts this year. Not as much as I would have liked to. There are several reasons I didn’t produce more content. I have had a technology hiatus this summer, because I was just too busy with other life stuff. Next to that, I have been working on a side-project and have been studying for the MCTS 70-356 exam. A lot of excuses, but I plan to make up for it in 2011.

I am pretty satisfied with the qualtiy I produced this year, although there is a lot of room for improvement. I like to think a good metric for quality is the number of visitors and retweets. I got double the traffic compared to last year, which makes me feel a little warm inside.

This year I mainly blogged about Webforms (refactoring), ASP.NET AJAX, the Bing API, TechEd, IE9 and HTML5. In 2011 I plan to continue to focus on Microsoft and the web. I’m still an MVC and WebMatrix novice, which needs to change next year.


Last year I planned on being more active on StackOverflow, but I failed miserably. I don’t think I will be making this a goal this year. I’m just going to continue to go there for questions only.

I also planned on going to a big event in 2010, which turned out to be TechEd Europe. Seriously, I could hang around there an entire month.

In being part of the Belgian .NET community I was less successful. I have been talking a lot with other Belgian developers through blogs and Twitter, but I should attend more real-life events. With the DrinksWithDevs community Davy Brion is starting, I think I might be doing better this year.


One of the goals I’m totally satisfied about.

Next to citytripping in Belgium, I was lucky enough to travel abroad 5 times this year:

There are no plans for next year (yet), but I don’t think I will be able to do much better.


This is a new section in this year’s report. Sport has become more and more important to me over the years. Next to going to the gym and running, I picked up boxing this September.

In the next year I want to focus more on conditioning and less on strength. It’s hard to set a specific goal right now, because I haven’t measured the speed and distance of my runs this year. For Christmas I got the Nike+ iPod gear, so that should help me to collect some data the following months.


This year had its ups and downs. Not a lot of exciting things happened at work, but 2011 should change that. I am overall content with the progress of my blog, although I think I should do better next year. I should be very satisfied with the travelling I did this year, I have spent more than a month abroad! I think I improved my health noticeably this year, I hope I stay injury-free and can put enough effort in to keep on improving my conditioning.

All by all 2010 was a good year and I hope 2011 will be at least as good. And to be honest, I don’t mind not being able to accomplish all goals, because the love of my family and friends compensates a lot. That was cheesy, right?