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My Programming Year 2014 in Review

The year 2014 was a good year in terms of how much programming I was able to do. This post is a listing of some of my accomplishments.

Programming Languages and Frameworks

In 2014, I was able to get a better understanding of F# and was actually able to use it for a few small side projects. I am still not convinced that I one day will go functional only, but I am for sure gonna use functional programming when it makes sense, instead of just defaulting to object oriented programming.

Last year was also the year when I finally embraced TypeScript. It is a super nice experience to work with when type definitions are available. But it do get a little annoying when you don’t have them, as you feel like you have to write everything twice when you have to build the type definitions as you go. In 2015 I hope for some better editor support for TypeScript, Visual Studio, is okay, but I still feel like there room for improvements.

Knockout.js is also high on the list of pleasant frameworks that I was able to work a lot with in 2014. I really like the structure it brings to your JavaScript and HTML. In 2015 I hope to be able to build some larger client side applications, and maybe look into some of the other interesting client side frameworks.

Certifications

Ever since I started working as a consultant with Microsoft technology, I have always been taking certifications when possible. I had a goal of taking four of them in 2014, to finish all the certifications related to SharePoint 2013. That didn’t happen as my employee asked me to get the MCPD Windows Azure Developer certification to improve their partner status. Getting that title, involved taking a certification on WCF (70-513), it was quite nice to get a deeper understanding of what WCF offers. Unfortunately getting the title also involved taking a very outdated Accessing Data (70-516) exam, it was a huge pain to read up on. So after that certification in March, I was burned out in terms of reading for certifications. So I only managed to take an exam on Azure Infrastructure in December, I really like learning about Azure, so preparing for that exam was interesting, and I’m looking forward to take the Azure Developer exam soon.

Next year I will not aim for four certifications, if it happens it’s great, but for right now I’m only planning on taking 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.

Side Projects

What I love most about being able to program is being able to bring different ideas of my own to life. In 2014 I was able to build these in my spare time

  • Improvements to my Stats of Path of Exile web application (Not publicly available)
  • CVR Lookup, an Outlook App for browsing company information from the Danish Company Register
  • One Drive Business for Outlook, an Outlook App that allows users to upload files to OneDrive and send links to them instead of attachments
    Schdo.com – an Outlook App that helps schedule appointments
  • Delegate Code Challenge, a web application with two code challenges written in C# and F#, used to challenge university students
  • Various prototype applications – I have posted a few of these to my public GitHub repo.

Blogging and other Writing

My initial goal for 2014 was to post four blog posts per month. For most parts, I have been able to do so. Besides writing posts for my own blog, I have also written a few in Danish for my employer. Next year I will try to keep up with the blogging, my blog posts will probably still be a huge mixture of the things I work with, but I expect to do some more blogging on Azure, and will try to do some more original technical blogs, as those are the ones that get most page views on my blog.

Besides my blogging I have been active in our company Yammer network, I ended up with a total of 421 posts to our network (second most). Many of the posts are informative posts about SharePoint or Azure development. Next year I will probably bring the post count down a bit but instead do some more posting in the public Office Developer Network, which I just recently joined.

Conclusion

All, in all I feel like 2014 have been a productive year, as I were able to squeeze all of above in, in addition to my 8 hours working. A lot of the time for it are due to my two hours commute everyday as that does leave room for a lot of reading and occasional blogging. I have also been prioritizing programming over watching TV and playing computer for the last year, but when you are doing interesting programming I find that more fun so it is a good trade off.

Categories: Programming

Simon J.K. Pedersen

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