Sabbatical summary

Having reached five years of service back on June 1st, I earned a nice sabbatical from my employer. What a great benefit! Surprisingly, most of what I set out to accomplish, I’ve done (not in any particular order):

  • Spent quality time with family
  • Soaked in the holidays
  • Read a number of books (fiction (Armageddon), non-fiction non-technical (Arrogance, Slander, Big Lies) and non-fiction technical (Introducing Longhorn for Developers (received at PDC 2003), Design Patterns Explained, Mastering Visual Studio .NET, .NET Patterns))
  • Established a weblog and (hopefully) learned how to make it stick through mostly trial and error
  • (Unplanned/undesired) Suffered a nasty flu
  • Didn’t write a single line of code!
  • Learned how to really use Adobe Photoshop CS on my digital images (lots more to learn, yet!)
  • Learned how to use Adobe Premiere Pro on my digital video (lots more to learn, yet!)
  • Explored the musical landscape a bit via RealNetwork Rhapsody (Listen.com) and discovered several albums of interest (yeah, what he said)
  • Tackled several projects around the house
  • Caught up on family business
  • Dove into the world of RSS, blogging, aggregation, etc.
  • Taught my son how to make a good pot of coffee in the morning
  • Kicked my multiple-Diet-Cokes-a-day habit and generally reduced my caffeine intake
  • Caught up on sleep
  • Configured my new home computer’s software from the operating system to the smallest personal OS/app tweak, producing a fine-tuned screamer of a machine.

I envision my average day at work changing as follows based on my time off and exposure to new ideas (not in any particular order):

  • Realigning my use of mediums such as blogging, RSS feeds, email, IM, web search, etc. to be more effective in my information gathering and dissemination (e.g. scan, flag some, delete rest, read flagged, follow up, save few, delete remainder).
  • Reduce and refine input data sources (related to the previous action)
  • Revisit hard copy vs. soft copy intake
  • Try to develop another form of community within platform engineering via blogs–ideally not just internal sites, but also externally focused sites with ample feedback loops
  • Continue to develop lieutenants in the technical ranks
  • More actively seek out the expertise of others by casting a broader net (e.g. performance optimizations (web et al), preventative (web et al) design measures, proven architectural patterns (web et al), etc.)

It will be interesting to see how this blog changes once I return to work (e.g. subject matter, posting frequency, accommodating site modifications, etc.). I’m giving myself a few months to see if I still blog as much then as I do know. If so, then perhaps I’ll go secure my own domain and get hosted by someone who will enable me to support a true blog engine. Stay tuned!

Going forward, some of the subjects I’d like to explore and blog include (not in any particular order):

  • Pros/cons of closed vs. open source development of enterprise software (e.g. licensing, community development, timeliness of feedback and release, etc.)
  • Increasing convergence of disciplines/professions (e.g. developments in industry X that have implications on Y, which is pertinent to what I’m tackling)
  • Self-service and it implications on society (e.g. self-serve scan-and-bag machines now at The Home Depot and Albertsons)
  • Blogging and its place in the world of content management (e.g. RSS (and Atom?) feeds to Content Server repositories based on identity, authorization, interest, context, etc.)
  • Blogging and its place in the world of enterprise collaboration (e.g. RSS feeds to an eRoom)
  • Paradox that often the more you know, the more you realize you do not know
-Craig
http://craigrandall.net/
@craigsmusings