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dotGeek by robert.owens

It’s time to dust things off here at DotGeek and get busy with learning some newer things in 2012 and in turn, hopefully providing myself some more opportunities in the long run too. I kind of let 2011 get away from me, but I had a later start to be fair. So what better time to start than at the first of 2012 and with a plan of action.

So I’ve known for sometime that I wanted to become more than just front man and I wanted to be involved more with the backend operations of various projects. Whether it be my daily 9 to 5 job or any of the various side idea projects that I have stuck in mind. Its important to me that I not only understand what takes places behind the curtains, I also want to help make it run behind those curtains.

For now I’m looking at teaching myself as much as I can here and will do that with the help of online training I find and any books I can get a hold of. I can’t simply leave my job and look at any formal training or really afford the training I’d like to get. Some continuing Education classes are available in the evenings and that might be an option later on, but for now I’m going to focus on any self-taught and online based learning options.

My approach towards this will be similar to that of a structured higher Education environment on the surface and I’ve already selected some key areas for me to focus on as I treat this like a semester of college on my road to becoming a Devigner in 2012.

So I want to learn more about being a Developer/Programmer and what makes things tick and run is my goal. I work mainly in Web Design and on the front end and have a very minimal understanding of the backend; aside from what its suppose to do and a very basic how it flows and happens to take place.

Now I want to help build those back end of projects more and the only way I can get to that level is to learn how to develop. People that do this are called Devigner’s and use the combination of Developer + Designer skills all wrapped up in one on a daily basis.

There is nothing wrong with someone who is just a Developer or just a Designer and in a lot of cases each will attempt to do some of the things in the others world. I would say people tend to be stronger in one area than the other. The best shops will have a good team of a Designer and a Developer working on projects hand in hand.

It reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a colleague while I was working as a photo editor for the college paper. One of the editor/writers told me, “If you can take photos that’s great, but if you can write the a story and take the photo that’s better. We can send a writer out to cover a story, but if he can’t take a good photo to go along with it, we’ve got a weak story, but if he can write and take good photos, then he’s golden.”

That’s stuck with me over the years and it makes a lot of sense and can be applied here as well. If you build something that works mind you, but doesn’t look that great it can be weak at best. Just as it can look great up front, but if it doesn’t work and doing anything worthwhile, then what good is it in the end, just another pretty picture to look at.

I’m done with taking just the pretty pictures here, its time I started to learn how to make the things work in the back end. Maybe I’ll be more of a Desigloper (Designer+Developer)when things are all said and done, but I’m going to do what I can to extend my skill sets and in those areas that I’m interested in as well.

My Spring Semester will last from January 2012 until the end of May 2012 and I’m taking the following classes Visual C# 2010 for Beginners, Windows Phone 7 Development, SQL Server 2005 Express, Silverlight 4.0, and XNA Game Studio. It’s a pretty full load I’d say and a good start as well with some overlap between each of these areas.

My goal is to schedule at least an hour and a half to two hours with each of these topics through out the week and to work through various books and online tutorials during this time, in fact I’m even working with a colleague on the Visual C# 2010 for Beginners.

When my Spring Semester is over, I’ll look at something for a Summer Semester of learning more and then repeat again with a Fall Semester session. The goal in the end for me is to learn the basics of C# and how to program some of the back end and if all goes well I’ll become a Devigner by the end of 2012 or at least a better Desigloper.

Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 9:53 AM WP7 , Silverlight , C# | Back to top

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