Contemplating technical goals for 2019

I’ve been thinking about technical goals for 2019.

I currently mostly write PHP with both WordPress and Laravel and associated HTML, CSS and bits of JavaScript enhancement, including Vue.js and I’ve been trying to learn React too, without quite getting there.

I’m trying to #LearnToLoveJS, rather than Learn JavaScript Deeply as the WordPress world is trying to do. Unfortunately this isn’t quite working out as I had hoped: I feel like I’m making progress with deeper JavaScript knowledge, but not so much with the enjoyment/loving it aspect.

Learn to love TypeScript, or learn it Deeply, or something?

So I’ve been wondering about TypeScript and actually installing it and reading through the docs and tutorials.

The trouble with TypeScript is that it’s a departure from the norm.

I like the small-to-medium-sized projects that I work on to be easily-hand-on-able.

Another developer picking up one of my projects should not have to learn something that they don’t know. The build process and tool-chain should be simple and well-documented (confession: the latter is not always true, for which I apologise to both other dev’s and my future self).

And TypeScript would add another dependency both into the tool-chain and the required knowledge to take on a project.

BUT…I wonder if another goal of 2019 is to take on more projects that are more bespoke, more self-contained and less likely to be handed on to other devs. More projects where I am the dev and I make the technical choices and I’m unashamed about picking the right tool for me to accomplish the task with.

Go, Go, Go!

I also have a real hankering to learn Go. I don’t know how that will happen, but from what I’ve heard it seems like a language I would enjoy working with. Compilation with compile-time static analysis. Strongly typed. Multi-threaded. There are all Good Things for a grumpy, old-school dev like me.

But what would I do with it? I don’t work on the kind of projects where Go would be a viable technology choice.

But again…maybe I should. Maybe this is where I should be positioning myself this year.

Can you select technology choices before positioning yourself for work?

Or should it happen the other way around? I suspect a bit of both is required. You won’t win the kinds of work you want until you show capability.

So maybe that’s the goal for this year – demonstrate capability for more of this kind of work and see what happens.

I’m pretty firmly entrenched in WordPress world. And I’d like that to continue somewhat. So I SHOULD be learning Gutenberg and Blocks and React. But the reasons for not wanting to do that are…

…the subject of another post probably.