The Year Ahead 2012

In the last few months I started checking out and, both which were started by Buster Benson. I’ve been participating in both of them daily and in turn it’s inspired me to carry through with some of my goals and to put them out there for everyone to read if interested. I must say that I do this with some hesitation after watching this TED talk about the success of reaching your goals when you tell people about them. But I think putting it out into the world is part of reaching your goals at the same time. So I plan on revealing some of them without getting too specific. Maybe that will strike the balance between pronouncing your goals to the workd and keep your mouth shut.

After looking back at what I learned and the work I’d done in 2011, I realized that there were some things that I want to change in 2012. One of the major things is that I want all of my learnings to actually produce something. Not just a folder of tutorials. I learned a lot last year, read a lot of books and whatnot, but I feel like a lot of what I learned will probably disappear as a result of not doing anything with it as it often does and has in the past. To (attempt to) resolve this issue, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to release some sort of project every month. I know that it seems kind of ambitious and maybe not reasonable, but I’ve come up with some rules to help myself move along.

For each project I must:

  • Decide on the next month’s project the week before the first of the month.
  • Learn something new.
  • Either create something new OR make a significant improvement to a previous month’s work in an obvious way.
  • If a project only takes a week or two to complete, even better. Don’t rush to start the next month’s project. Enjoy your time off.
  • If a project takes more than a month to complete or I just drop the ball, that’s ok, but it must be finished the following month or I must take a step back and re-evaluate to see if it can be turned into a finished project at a later time.
  • Blog about my progress a few times a month.
  • Blog about the end product at the end of the month.
  • Not work when on a planned vacation.

The purpose is to find a curriculum that works for me so that I can learn and explore as many things that interest me. And there are a lot of them. This one project a month goal will serve a few other purposes too. It’ll force we to keep learning things, it will help dissuade me from taking on freelance that I don’t want to take on, and it will force me to blog more often.

My next post will describe what the project for January is. I’ll put out a loose timeline that I plan to stick to. The point of this is that it’ll give me smaller goals to stick to and should help keep me accountable for the ridiculousness that I’m about to take on.

Some topics I hope to explore a bit more include but are not limited to:

  • kinect
  • processing and OpenGL
  • javascript / HTML5 canvas
  • cinder and c++
  • flash games
  • iOS apps
  • arduino and physical computing
  • lots and lots of particles

Wish me luck.

Greg Kepler is an interactive developer at the Barbarian Group. He started as a design student graduating from RIT with a degree in New Media Design and Imaging in 2004 and fell in love with Flash. He worked for 4 years as a designer, developer, and interactive studio manager at Iomedia and moved on to the Barbarian Group in 2010 as an interactive developer where he tries to get his hands dirty with whatever technologies he can.