Learn something new this year

We’ve all heard jokes about early January at the gym. Like clockwork, we’re always piling in with the best of intentions, and falling off the wagon by the end of the month.

There are many reasons most New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, but it often boils down to the goal itself – it’s too vague, and there are simply too many potential points of failure, etc. If we’re honest with ourselves, our common I-want-to-lose-weight resolutions needn’t be resolutions, but rather full-blown lifestyle adjustments that happen over long periods. A few days at the gym doesn’t undo years of bad habits.

I try to make the small changes necessary to meet personal health goals, i.e. realistic changes to diet and exercise that I can adhere to long term. For an actual yearly goal, I want to figure out something with a beginning and an end. In my opinion, this sounds like a great opportunity to learn something new within my expertise.

In the past couple years, I’ve gained a huge interest in JavaScript, which many of you know is a red-hot and quickly growing area in Web development. There are many open source projects out there that facilitate cross-platform software development using Web technology, so my goal is to build a small, simple desktop application that performs well enough, but is mostly HTML, CSS and JavaScript under the hood, and interfaces with Twitter’s API in various ways to help the user perform some unique managerial functions.

Having used Twitter’s API before, that may go pretty quickly. If that’s the case, spending some time with ES6 may be next on deck. ES6 will probably be a bit slow to market, so maybe I can dive into WebAssembly and save the next generation of JavaScript until 2017. In just this one area of one discipline, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

Now, many of our users use UltraEdit and UEStudio for non-programming functions in different disciplines, but I bet you’ve been looking at something new in your trade that could benefit you, and add value for your employer or customers. So, what does that look like? And can you learn it this year?

It’s not learning to play guitar, or taking up glass blowing. It’s building upon your existing expertise so you can apply new skills in creative ways.

If you’ve got some moves to make in your professional space in 2016, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below – especially if you’re in the product development business!

So, what’s it gonna be?

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