So Long 2012: Year Highlights

Keeping the tradition of end-of-year blog posts, here are my year highlights for 2012:

Clojure

I started clj-syd - the Sydney Clojure User Group - back in January and it has seen a major uptake. We consistently get an average of 25 people each month and there’s no shortage of talks and topics to discuss. It’s a great crowd and I’m proud to have started it and of being part of it.

Speaking

I spent most of the year studying functional programming and I tried to make my talks reflect that. Even the javascript talk I gave in April had a FP focus. Anyway, you can find some of the slides online:

Books

As usual I read a number of books this year and these are my favourites:

  • The Little Schemer

As they say, an oldie but a goodie. This is mandatory reading for anyone who consider themselves a serious programmer. The insights and techniques found here are invaluable. Do yourself a favor and buy it now.

For a Clojure take on it, check Julian Gamble’s series on The Little Schemer in Clojure

  • The Joy of Clojure

This is pretty much how I learned Clojure. I actually started reading it in November 2011 but felt I needed to put it down from time to time to go and code on my own to solidify what I learned. That’s why I only finished it in 2012.

This book packs a great deal of info and is a great way to get into both functional programming and Clojure.

  • Learn you a Haskell for Great Good

This is the best intro to Haskell ever. Hands down. ‘nuff said.

  • Clojure Programming

I like reading different books about the same subject to get to see it from various perspectives. Clojure Programming takes a different approach to The Joy of Clojure in that, as it progresses through topics and code examples, it contrasts it with languages likely to be familiar to the reader, such as Java, Ruby and Python. Another great alternative if you’ve been thinking of getting into Clojure but didn’t know where to start.

Content

Here’s just a few of the posts visitors found most interesting this year:

LambdaJam

LambdaJam is a conference for functional programmers and although it’s set to happen in May 2013 the wheels have already started turning - thus I had to list it as a highlight.

I’m fortunate enough to be involved with the organization alongside very bright people from the Australian functional programming community as well as Dave Thomas from the YOW! Conference who’s leading the effort. We’re all really excited about it.

Stay tuned, lots more info to come!

Goals

No resolutions. Goals. And I wanna achieve them. They’re simple and I hope this post will keep me in check

Better utilize my free time

This is a bit abstract but will help me achieve the goals below. The output of this goal is a calendar with time slots assigned to each one of the next goals - I’ve just done this now actually so this is a good start. No more procrastinating.

Books

I got a big pile of books I wanted to have read in 2012 so I’ll be updating my good reads profile with them and make sure I just do it - with the help of my new calendar from the goal above.

Side projects

In 2012 I worked on two side project which are not ready yet, so I can’t comment a whole lot on them apart from saying that one is being developed in Clojure and the other in Ruby - in 2013, these two will see the light of day.

Here’s to a new year

I hope you all had a great 2012 and are as excited as I am for the new year.

Happy holidays, safe driving and awesome parties! :)

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