October 24, 2011

Get Better

... the sooner you care, the better you'll make. The better you'll do. And the better you'll live.

Merlin Mann

Take 5 minutes to: - Read the most interesting blog post in your RSS reader - Look through the code you wrote today and find a place to improve - Write down any problems you encountered today - Learn a new keyboard shortcut for your IDE, source control tool, or shell - Ask a co-worker if they've read anything interesting lately

Take 15 minutes to: - Refactor a piece of code you wrote this week - Find code that's missing tests and add one - Update your team/company wiki - Read a few of the top stories on news.yc or /r/programming - Read a chapter in a technical book - Write a thoughtful comment on a blog post

Take 30 minutes to: - Watch a talk from a conference that interests you - Write a blog post about a bug you encountered and how you fixed it - Write a blog post about something you've been working on or learning about - Listen to a podcast - here are some I like: Podcast Roundup - Do a kata or a problem on Project Euler - Attend a brownbag or lunch-and-learn

Take an hour a week to: - Help an open source library that you use - patchs, documentation, bugs - Work on a side-project on your own - Watch a screencast about something new - Try to answer some questions on StackOverflow - Do prep work to host a brownbag or meetup talk - Take an online class: Stanford courses on iPhone, Machine Learning, AI

Take 2 hours a month to: - Go to a local dev meetup - Take someone you look up to out to lunch and pick their brain - Do self reflection and update your position on The Long Road - Plan out how to Get Better over the next month

Take a weekend a year to: - Go to a conference - Attend a Startup Weekend or Hackathon - Use your craft to help others

Take one minute a day - just 60 seconds - to stop and ask yourself this question:

Did I Get Better today?

If you aren't happy with your answer, do something about it.