One of the things I always have enjoyed over Christmas holidays is finding a few hours here and there for myself to explore new technolgies or tinker with side-projects. With all the events and distractions, finding time for yourself can be a pretty challenging task. This year, I'm thankful to have a lot of time off, so I've decided the best way to tackle this is to find projects that are interesting but don't require a huge investment of thought. So I'm not going to bother with cracking open the XAML specifications and trying a SilverLight project. Too much time. Too much thought.
So I've come up with the "Twelve Days of Code". Catchy, but not corny. Here's the rules:
- Tackle a small project each day
- Use technologies I haven't used before or wouldn't naturally use in the course of a work project
- No project should take more than an hour.
- If you get snagged, the hour is about the snag.
- All the projects have to share a common theme
- The projects need to provide value to me beyond the scope of the holidays.
- Keep 'em blog worthy
I've decided my common theme should be "Software Automation" which is anything that saves time for repeated tasks. If I can save other developers on my team time, also great.
I've started a small list of to-do's, and I'm using http://www.rememberthemilk.com to help me with the scheduling, etc.
The list of thing I want to play with are:
- Visual Studio Templates
- Custom Installers / Wizards
- Click Once deployment
I'll keep ya posted.