It’s hard to believe that it is already 2008… 2007 completely flew by. I spent most of this Christmas holiday telling my family I had seen them just a few months ago when, in fact, I hadn’t seen them since… last… Christmas.

So, 2008 in review.

Except for my first couple of years in college (I had never written a program until ‘Hello World’ in C my freshman year), 2007 has got to be the year of the most growth for me as a developer. I never really grasped unit testing/test driven development (I can’t put behavior driven development in this just yet) until this year. Does that make me a master at it? Certainly not - but I do understand the need and the drive behind it now. Along with this gradual understanding of the role of tests/specifications, I have come to better appreciate concepts such as dependency injection, inversion of control and separation of concerns. I understand that they may sound like buzz words, but seriously, these practices can completely change the way you architect systems. I can’t believe how far behind I’ve been and, even more so, how far I have to go.

In my quest to become a better developer, I’d like to share some of the blogs/feeds that I’ve started subscribing to in 2007 that really have helped me become stronger in my craft. J.P. Boodhoo, Jeremy Miller, Dave Laribee, Oren Eini, the reddit programming feed, and Reginald Braithwaite. Certainly some are missing (lifetime achievement awards to Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood anyone?), but I still wanted to share a few. I don’t think it is a coincidence that a lot of these are heavily involved with ALT.NET.

Looking forward to 2008.

I’m hoping to gain experience and learning from communities outside of the Microsoft ecosystem (i.e. Ruby, Rails, Python, etc.) if for no other reason than to see what it is like. Honestly, the majority of the practices that ALT.NET is pushing have been and are huge parts of these communities. I’d also like to get more involved with one or more open source projects. Lately, I’ve found myself pulling more and more repositories down to my machine just to study the code and I’d like to give back.