Starting the new year right, three weeks late

I wanted to write this post before 2008 started, but better late than never, huh?

I’ve been working with Ruby on Rails for over 18 months now, and it continues to be a lot of fun. There are still challenges, as projects are never a total walk in the park. There is also new stuff to learn almost every week. The Rails team keeps improving the framework, and the community keeps authoring more plugins. Keeping up is a demanding part of the job, but it adds to the fun factor.

One activity I’ve been doing lately on my own time is learning different programming languages, development environments, and frameworks. The move to Rails from Java seems to have been a good choice career-wise, and I did it by trying to keep current on technology. I want to be ready for the next shift, whatever that may happen to be and whenever it comes into prominence.

After many attempts, I finally had published not just one IT-related article, but three, at IBM DeveloperWorks and Amazon Web Services Developer Portal. The articles were published between late October and late December 2007. They are:

Display Google Calendar events on your PHP Web site with XPath

Don’t Get Caught with Your Instance Down

Using Parameterized Launches to Customize Your AMIs

These articles are just the start of a shift from developing software as one of the faceless multitude of IT geeks, to being somewhat more known among my peers. I hope to turn these and other articles into presentations at software development conferences in 2008. Hopefully this enhanced exposure and networking will lead to great new things in 2008 and beyond.

Just before beginning this post, I updated WordPress to the latest stable version. I am always amazed by how easy WordPress upgrades are. Considering how easy it is to write unmaintainable crap in PHP, the WordPress team deserves a big standing ovation for doing software right in PHP.

The theme I had up for the last year was not compatible with the change to WordPress 2.3.x, so I picked out a totally different theme this once. It’s really simple and unobtrusive. If I get creative, I may tweak it or pick another theme altogether.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to post more often. Feel free to give me a nudge in the comments if I let posting to the weblog slide again.

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About dreadpiratepj

I have been goofing around with computers since May 1978, when I was about seven years old. For the past decade, I've even managed to have people pay me for this! Suckers! :-)
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