Mickey Williamson
Books: Head First Design Patters, Refactoring, Effective Java

A Dream Summer

I am beyond excited for this summer.  In fact, I’m probably as excited as I was the summer I got to hike the 500-mile Colorado Trail across the Rockies with my dog!  Why am I excited?

Self-Directed Learning

I’ve fulfilled the requirements for my Master’s in Computer Science and graduated six months ago. I learned a lot and am glad I did it.  But after two years of it, I was finding the classes restrictive and limiting. I wanted the freedom to dive deeper and explore more broadly but college classes don’t allow for that type of learning.

After graduating, I spent most of my free time of the last six months studying a couple topics unrelated to technology that I’ve been craving to learn more about – regenerative farming and spirituality.   I’m feeling pretty satiated in those areas at the moment and am ready to turn my attention back to technology and dive into the topics I’ve been hungering after for years but never had the chance to pursue.  Now is the time and I couldn’t be more excited! Here is the summer plan…

Books, Certification, Project(s), Prep, and Blogging

There are three classic programming books that I’ve had high on my radar for years.  I feel like they’re the key to getting my programming to the next level. They are:

Effective Java
Refactoring
GoF Design Patterns (in conjunction with Head First Design Patterns)

The plan is one book per month.  That seems like a long time to spend on a book (at least for me – I usually read about one book per week).  But I intend to do more than just read. I intend to take notes and digest as much as possible. I say “as much as possible” because I expect these three books to require several readings over the course of my career to fully assimilate their contents. I expect (and hope!) there will be parts that are a bit beyond what I need at the moment so I plan to absorb as much as I can this first time through them.

In addition to immersing myself in these books, I also plan to go for my Google Android Developer certification.  I have a few topics I want to spend a couple weeks brushing up on in early July and then take the test July 11 so that I’ll hopefully have a shiny new certification to pin to my resume in the fall.

Next on the summer agenda is a project (or two depending on how the first project goes).  A client is in need of a marketplace eCommerce site. So I’ll be building that using Magento as the base.

And lastly, while I do enjoy the web developer freelancing life, I’d really like to get into a top-notch Android agency to polish my Android chops and really gain some expertise in the area. So I’ll be prepping for that – updating my resume and LinkedIn profile, following job openings, putting together a CV site, etc.

I’ll be capturing my learning adventures this summer (and hopefully beyond) on this blog. My goal is for it to be a learning resource for developers who come to Android development without formal programming training.  This may morph over time. We’ll see.

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