Matt Makai - Python web dev & Twilio Developer Evangelist.

@mattmakai on Twitter & GitHub

My 2017 Year Ahead in Software Development

My look back at what I accomplished professionally in 2016 is complete, so with this post I'm looking ahead at my software development goals for 2017 along with the programming ecosystems I will be coding in. The three areas I will be focused on in 2017 are continued work on existing projects, tutorial videos and reading open source code.

Existing Projects

It is possible to get wrapped up in thinking about the next 365 days as a wide-open expanse just waiting to be filled with new side projects. However, the reality is that a lot of my time outside my day gig is going to be taken up by three existing projects:

  1. Full Stack Python
  2. Python for Entrepreneurs
  3. The Full Stack Python Guide to Deployments

The highest priority work for the next couple of months will be finishing my chapters in the Python for Entrepreneurs video course I'm working on with Michael Kennedy. When the video course is completed I will divide my time between marketing and content updates for the video course and my deployments book. Full Stack Python daily updates with new resources, pages and descriptions will also continue for the foreseeable future.

Software Development Tutorial Videos

In addition to the Python for Entrepreneurs video course, I started creating tutorial videos for Twilio in 2016. The quality and quantity of those types of videos will ramp up significantly in 2017 as I continue to get comfortable with the tools such as Camtasia and Audacity.

Most, if not all, of these videos will appear on Twilio's YouTube channel and the How to Use Twilio playlist.

Reading Code

Reading and analyzing open source code can be a great way to become a better programmer, yet I find most of the time I only look at my own code and that of my Twilio colleagues!

I want to be more intentional about reading code, which should culminate in a series of blog posts on popular Python open source projects where I perform "teardowns" (in a hardware-style teardown, not an insulting takedown). I'll use the Python debugger to better understand what's going on under the hood and explain the nuts and bolts to readers. This content style will be an experiment in the first half of 2017. Then after some critical reflection I will determin how to proceed in the second half of the year.

Programming Ecosystems

In 2016 I spent about 75% of my time working in Python and about 25% in Swift. In 2017 my ecosystems will likely change again, with a significant reduction in Python programming to about 40%, Swift around 25% and Java with a significant uptick at 35%. Most of the Java and Swift work will be done for Twilio while Python will remain my primary side project language with an occasional Twilio coding project in Python. The Java and Python coding will be web development projects while Swift will be used for mobile development.


Those are my goals and expected programming ecosystems for 2017, time to get back at it!

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