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I’ve spent most of my career working as LAMP stack developer, but most recently I’ve been dabbing my grubby fingers into Python, Ruby, and NoSQL databases. I enjoy nothing more than scalable code, cache that accelerates your websites, and well indexed database. Kasia is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 5 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Set Aside One Hour for Personal Development

01.30.2013
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A while ago I decided to dedicate an hour a day to my personal development time. There’s always been projects I had “in a pipeline” but they never finished, and work was always conveniently “getting in the way.” The aim of on hour experiment is to stop the excuses, and for the personal projects have to come first, over putting the overtime at work.

Last 7 days gone by really quickly, and I worked very hard, but I think there are two major achievements that are worth taking a not of:

First one has to be my first Python project. I’m really proud of this one, as it’s my first ever proper web application in Python, that works with Apache. So far I’ve been really loving Python with it’s tidy structure, and intelligent architecture. I can really see it benefiting my day job as well.

Even though it hasn’t exactly been a “rocket science” to build a holding page, I feel like it has empowered me to get on with a site I was meant to build for ages, and to build it in Django. I will keep you posted as to how I get on, but I’m really excited to be working with new technologies.

Second achievement has got to be submerging myself into the world of SEO again. I haven’t really been keeping up to date with Search Engine Optimisation, since I left Distilled, so it was, and still is, a steep curve ahead. I’ve dusted off the SEO feed of my RSS reader, and I’m ready to learn.

The main target for this work is to get steady, organic, traffic to the website from the search engines and RSS feeds. I’m going to work hard on getting better content out. There’s still a lot I can write about, but I need to find more time, and learn to be a bit more engaging.

Now, let’s see some numbers

Previous 7 daysLast 7 days
71Days work took over
13637Vistis to the blog
3.381.46Pages / Visit
£0£0.01Pounds made

Judging by the last row, I don’t think I’ll be leaving my job just yet.

Next few weeks

I’m very excited about the week to come. I don’t know what exactly I’ll be able to work on from this list, but my objectives for the near future are

  • Create first application in Django
  • Create fully responsive site (I’m mainly backend, and feel rusty with my design skills)
  • Make start on a simple Android app.

One hour experiment is awesome

I think it’s fair to say that I currently spend more than one hour a day of my personal time working on this experiment, but it’s totally worth it. I still need to set up certain tools, to help me work better, just like I would, starting new job.

I’m also really enjoying feeling interested in programming again. This seems to be a perfect cure, for the “burning out” that happens to a lot of developers.

If you’re always complaining about not having any time for your own projects, or learning: leave the office on time, come back home, put your computer on, and do something for an hour each day. It might just make you very happy.

Published at DZone with permission of Kasia Gogolek, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

James Taylor replied on Wed, 2013/01/30 - 10:12am

Great idea. I've come up with the "one thing" concept to help me stay focused. When I sit down to work on a side project -- focus on one thing till that one thing is done. It may take multiple days to get that one thing done. But the commitment is to pick an important task to get done and then stay focused until it is done. After that, pick the next most important task. I gain much satisfaction knowing that I've accomplished something that I wanted to accomplish.

-- james

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