Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover
dave.hoover@gmail.com

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Sun, 24 Dec 2006

2006 Retrospective, Thoughts on 2007

I remember telling Sean Doran, my last project manager at ThoughtWorks, that I would probably break a lifetime record in 2006 for least number of hours slept. That prediction came true. And not surprisingly, here I sit, writing about it at 1:23 AM on Christmas Eve. Many of my sleepless nights were spent on projects that have thus far proven fruitless ... 3 books and a web site. Well, "fruitless" in that nothing tangible has been delivered yet, but that's not to say that I didn't gain anything along the way. Like each of the previous five years since I began this awesome journey into the world of software development, I learned a ton. I'm reading less than previous years, but I'm coding and writing and speaking more than I ever have before.

Several important events transpired for me (and for some of you) in 2006 that make me incredibly excited for 2007 and beyond...

First, Ruby has officially stepped into the ring with the the big boys. That is important for me because it means that it's easier for me to get paid to write in my favorite programming language. In 2007, I will be programming in Ruby more than Java, and that feels great. If I was a better person, the programming language wouldn't matter so much, solving clients' problems would give me joy regardless of how I accomplished it. But I'm coming to terms with the fact that I am a lazy, selfish person, and I really don't do well if I can't work in a hyper-productive language that's fun to use.

Second, I left the best job I'd ever had to join a small, local company. This was certainly risky, but it has led to some incredible opportunities to try on some different hats. I learned how to develop a training course and execute it. I learned how to develop new business. Joining Obtiva has also given me the great pleasure of bringing in the sorts of people that I want to work with. After reading a lot of Paul Graham in 2005, it's been awesome to see a lot of his wisdom ring true in my life. I love small companies.

Lastly, Friday was a landmark day for Obtiva, and for me personally: We opened our new office in Wheaton 3 blocks from my house. Having a physical office opens up the possibility to establish a Software Craftsmanship Studio, which is a dream I've had ever since I met Ken Auer and Nathaniel Talbott. It's scary to think that this opportunity is already here, but thankfully I'm already surrounded by some great people. My primary goal for 2007 is to spend an increasing amount of time in the Wheaton office working on our Rails projects and hopefully identify a young person in the local community who would be a good fit for apprenticeship.

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