2016 has been a really good year for me. I have made significant progress towards my goals both personally and professionally. Some of the year’s highlights include making my first business acquisition, Distisuite, and selling my first project to a Fortune 1000 client.
While there have been many positive things that occurred in 2016, there were also several things that didn’t work out as well as I’d anticipated. My back injuries haven’t gotten much better, my sales aren’t as high as i’d wanted them to be, and my productivity has been less than ideal on a day-to-day basis.
Personal Goals For 2017
My personal goals are going to be one of my primary focuses in 2017. I have come to the realization that working almost every minute of every day is not sustainable, nor is it healthy. Becasue of this, my personal goals are focused on creating a more holistic, balanced life.
Improving my health
One of the biggest issues I have with myself is my health. I am overweight and am starting to see the early implications of this. I know that losing weight, exercising more, and eating better will make me not only be healthier, but i’ll feel healthier. This will have positive impacts on all areas of my live including my mood, energy, and productivity.
- Work with my personal trainer: I started working with a personal trainer earlier this year. Since doing so, I have seen that i’ve been feeling better and that i’m getting stronger. I want to continue doing so 2+ days a week and try to get to the gym at least 3 days a week.
- Cook at home: One of the biggest contributors to me gaining weight these past few years has been that i’ve been eating out way too often. When I eat out, I make poor food choices. I want to make it a habit of cooking at home every day because when I cook at home, I tend to eat healthier. This includes preparing a lunch so I don’t go out during the week and eat something unhealthy.
If I implement these 2 difficult, but not impossible, practices I should be able to improve my health relatively quickly.
I want to make it a point to do some more traveling this year. Being able to take a break from work for a couple of days and relax somewhere that is not my home can be really refreshing, and have a positive impact on my health. Some places I am considering traveling:
- Niagara Falls
- The Beach (Atlantic City or Ocean City)
- New York City
- Washington DC
These are all places that I can do in a long weekend without having to worry about the airport.
- NodeJS/ExpressJS: Node is becoming more and more popular for building websites and even native apps.
- VueJS: I really like the simplicity of this library and want to start implementing it more in the applications I build.
I have a deep affinity for the Python. I love the simplicity of the language, it’s efficiency. I’d love to be able to write Python all day long. In order to get better with Python, I want to do the following:
- Get better with the language: Having a more in depth understanding of Python itself will make me a better Python programmer. Some of the things that I need to learn more in depth are generators, list comprehensions, map/reduce/etc.., decorators, and recursive functions.
- Django: Django is one of the best RAD frameworks in existences, and it’s written in Python! I want to have an in-depth understanding on how to create web applications in Django so I can build them for myself and others quickly and efficiently.
- Flask: Flask is really interesting to me as a microframework – minimalistic and simple. I would like to have at least a basic understanding on how to create apps in Flask even if i don’t ever use it. At the very least, it’ll give me something to compare Django to.
PHP has only gotten more popular over the years, and it’s become an overall better language to work with. I think that i’ll be working in PHP to some extent quite often for the foreseeable future, so it’s worth it to be as good as I can with the language.
- Laravel: I have heard nothing but good things about this framework. Getting an understanding of how to build apps in Laravel can be really useful when selling new projects, and to get a better understanding of the capabilities of PHP.
- Performance Optimization: Learning tips and tricks to squeeze every last millisecond of speed out of PHP can have material benefits to my clients. This includes caching, load balancing and queuing/messaging.
There is an infinite amount of things that I can learn, but I only have a finite amount of time and energy. Some of the other things I want to learn more about is:
- Microservice Architecture: This has always been something that is interesting to me. Learning to break up a monolithic app into smaller, self-contained services could be really useful as I start to work on larger and more complex projects. This also includes getting a better understanding of Kubernetes to orchestrate production application workloads.
- C: I have a personal interest in IoT and microcontrollers. Most of these controllers are programmed in C so understanding the language will allow me to make cool things.
- Android/iOS Development: Learning to build native apps would be a good thing for me to learn, especially as it ties into IoT projects that I want to work on.
While there is a lot I want to learn in 2017, I thing that all of these topics are contained enough that I should be able to do so without too many issues. While this won’t make me an engineering master, it’ll definitely be setting me on the right path.
Professional Goals For 2017
I want 2017 to be the best year yet in my professional life. I would really like to scale ProTech, DistiSuite, and launch a standalone product this year.
ProTech has been my primary source of income since 2012. I have grown it from doing small website tweaks on eLance to building full scale applications for some of the largest companies in the world. While the quality of work that I have gotten has steadily increased, the quantity of it has not. This has been purposeful as I have been reluctant to grow the size of my team due to fear of failure and confidence. In 2017 this is going to change. I plan on putting my marketing on overdrive and learning to master of the art of delegation. If I can sell the projects, delegate them out to employees, then do QA before I deliver it I can still maintain the same quality of work (given I hire the right people) while vastly increasing the quantity of it.
It’s been almost a year since I purchased DistiSuite and I couldn’t be happier with the decision. In 2017, I want to rebuild the platform from the ground up – making it more feature rich, faster, and more valuable to my customers. Ultimately, I want to make DistiSuite more profitable and more efficient, which is totally doable.
Launch A Product
This sounds vague because it is a concept that I am only in the early stages of exploring. I have been a very apt follower of HackerNews of late, and there is a good amount of content there about people who are launching their own products. I would like to create something that can start passively generating some income. Growing as an entrepreneur has always been important to me, and creating passive income sources is the next logical step for me to take.
I have a very ambitious year set for me in 2017, but with solid effort and persistence I am confident that I’ll be able to accomplish all of my goals, and then some!