Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions for 2010

Since I start my decades at zero, that means we have just 4.5 hours left in this first 10% of the 21st century. And with just 4.5 hours left, I post my New Year's Resolutions.
  • Sell the house, pay off the remainders of my debts, and get my own place to stay. And get a car too.
  • Travel to another country.
  • Take my son to another country.
  • Drop the waist size 2 inches and not break any bones.
  • Go to an amusement park, visit the beach, and also see a part of the USA I've never been.
  • Do more educational work for Python related technologies, and that includes getting the Django Education Foundation really rolling forwards.
  • Throw away at least half my current stuff. I don't have much stuff now, and I want even less. Also, If I don't use or interact with any one of my non-book remaining possessions by 2011, I'm throwing it away.
  • Move my blog to my own system and blog at least once a week.
  • Get a mountain bike and have reasons to use it.
  • Get back into Eskrima, focus more on BJJ, get into Capoeira.
  • Hire a maid. I'm not messy, but I want someone to do the fine tuning of my place.
  • Go to Pycon, DjangoCon, and a new conference.
  • Have a beer with Thomas, Andy, Andy, Tony, Garrick, Bernd, and the rest of Ye Aulde Gange.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

There was a day...

... just a few years back I got in trouble for getting trac/svn for a critical project I was leading. I had myself, two developers, a project manager, business analyst, and a manager best described as the quintessential pointy haired boss. Our company thought at that point that version control and web based ticketing was crazy, edgy, dangerous stuff. Nope, tickets were to be controlled by sharing Excel spreadsheets and zip was how you handled version control.

I'm glad those days are gone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Python meme

Tarek Ziade blogged this first. I'm just following the herd cause thats what a lone wolf does...

1. What's the coolest Python application, framework, or library you have discovered in 2009?

Django and Pinax. Technically I discovered those in 2006 and 2008 respectively, but it wasn't until 2009 that I got to really dig in. Django was really a blast from the outset of 2009, but it was about five lines of code that made me realize this was the framework to follow. Pinax is like a magical function decorator for Django, what more can I say?

Sphinx rocks too. I don't use it enough!

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2009?

Thanks to James Tauber I really got into JQuery. Thanks to Brian Rosner I really got into Git as a DVCS. Yeah, I know YUI and HG are part of things too, but my dark secret is that part of why I really dig JQuery and Git so much is the guys who got me started on those tools.

3. What's the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2009? What did you do?

Its a toss-up between Django Uni-Form and Pinax.

Django Uni-Form is my first successful open source project and about 75% of the code is mine, plus all the documentation and most of the marketing. Speaking of which, every NASA Django project (except for one) uses Django Uni-Form. Its in use by Discovery Channel, PBS, Washington Post, Washington Times, Richmond Times, and more. Of course, it wouldn't be anywhere near the success it is without the contributions of nearly a dozen people.

For Pinax I haven't done as much of the code as I wanted in 2009. Personal life issues swallowed up a lot of my time and energy, but I certainly evangelized and documented and taught it nearly every day. Pinax is not just me, its James Tauber, Brian Rosner, Jannis Leidal, and the rest of the Pinax and Django communities.

4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2009?

Twitter. Certainly there are blogs I really enjoy following, but twitter is where it was at in 2009 for me. I read every blog it seems on Planet Python and Django, but my favorites include (in alphabetical order) Alex Gaynor, Chris McDonough, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Jesse Noller, and Tarek Ziade.

5. What are the top three things you want to learn in 2010?

Driving cars.
How to cook again.
Much more Capoeira.
Something really nifty in Python I don't know yet.
How to count to three.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 resolution summary

Items that are crossed out are completed.
  • Compete in tournaments and/or races
  • Refinance the house
  • Go to yet another country
  • Learn Django, JQuery, and get better at zc.buildout and CSS
  • Stay with NASA another year
  • Test for my 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do
  • Not break any bones
  • Fix up more rooms in the basement
  • Take down that one tree in the backyard
  • Enjoy my family more (Things are better with my parents, siblings, and perhaps my son).
  • Go to PyCon, Plone Conference 2009, and DjangoCon
  • Become much more active in the open source community

Recap of 2009

This has been an interesting year. Incredible life changes have meant I've gone between screaming excitement to the doldrums of depression.

The good:
  • Made an amazing number of new friends this year. In alphabetical order I can think of Alex, Barbara, Brian, Chris, Eric, Jacob, James, Jannis, Jeff, Jesse, Mike, Niall, Rich, Shawn, Steve, Zain and others I'm certainly forgetting to my undying shame. Thanks for your support and also thanks for opening my eyes to what the world can be really like!
  • Got involved in the Python, Django, and Pinax communities, reviewed talks for Pycon, became a Pinax core developer, started up NOVA-Django, started up the still nascent Django Education Foundation.
  • Worked another year in Python related technologies.
  • Tested for my third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Worked my Muay Thai. Got better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Learned a little Capoeria.
  • Almost up to 6 years without a broken bone!!!
  • Stayed with NASA, for five years total now. Saw good people hired like Chris Adams and Tom Rando. My team set up a collaboration space. Launched a big internal Pinax powered application called SMD Spacebook and am helping on a major outreach application.
  • Began my new side consulting efforts which will be mostly educational based. I like teaching anything, from martial arts to technology! Worked on a course for Holdenweb, and am teaching a long tutorial at Pycon!
  • Reconnected with some old High School and Middle School friends. Am able to give one of them some business.
  • My son turned 18.
  • Grew a goatee.
  • Kept teaching martial arts.
  • Got a new road bike.
The bad:
  • My marriage of 12+ years fell apart. I've lived in a lot of places since, but none of them my own.
  • Participated in a well done project that lost out to a mediocre project that won because of resource attrition and refusal of customer to effectively market the effort.
  • Didn't push hard enough to prep my house for sale until December. Going into more debt to finance the work.
  • Didn't really practice much Eskrima all year.
  • Lost a cat named Ao-Chan to kidney disease on Obama's Inauguration day. She was an aloof, regal, agile beauty who deigned to give us lots of love and affection.