As we approach the midway point of the year, I have begun to assess my skills. Specifically, I’ve been pondering how to improve on my current skills, as well as picking up a few new ones. So, inline with the 7th habit from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s time to start sharpening the developer saw. As written about by Scott Hanselman and Justice Gray, one obvious way a software developer can improve his/her skills is by reading. So, for the rest of the year I’ve assembled a list of books that I plan on reading. They include:
Code Complete (re-read)
The Algorithm Design Manual (re-read)
User Interface Design for Programmers (re-read)
Framework Design Guidelines (re-read)
Effective Java (re-read)
Enterprise Integration Patterns (re-read)
Mathematical Proofs (re-read)
There you have it. The list may be a little aggressive, but it is feasible, since I have read a couple of those books before. In addition to reading, there are several other things that I would like to start doing. They include participating in online forums, like stackoverflow.com, giving away code for utilities that I have written, as well as attending a couple of conferences. This makes for a pretty busy year, and you can never predict when life will get in the way, but I do believe these are all attainable.
What’s your approach to Sharpening the Saw?