New Year’s Resolution Guide for Developers: Getting Them Done!

The ending of a year is when everyone begins to reflect on the events of this past year. All the good, bad, horrible, and surprising events come into our minds for one final hurrah before a fresh start in the upcoming year. Well since we’re going to be reminiscing, it only makes sense to think of some ways to make the new year a smashing success. Right? Of course!

Every developer has, or is going to, compile a list of things that they feel would better their career’s and skill sets. There is only one problem with these list though. Like everyone else, the things on our lists are hardly ever acted upon. Time to change that!

So what we’re going to do here is take a look at 7 of the things that every developer has on their resolutions list, and look at how they can actually be done.

This is our last post from year 2012 as in few hours we all are celebrating New Year so on behalf of iShift’s team, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!!

Start Freelancing

Every developer has the dream of being able to leave the world of being an employee, and step out into the glorified lifestyle of being a freelancer. The idea of being able to work when you want, choose which clients you’d like to work with, and no longer having an annoying boss hovering over you every two seconds is too enticing to pass up.

Things To Do To Start Freelancing:

  • Save enough money for at a minimum of 6 months of no work
  • Get a great time management app(ex: Time Doctor)
  • Try to learn some accounting basics
  • Create a solid business plan
  • Read, read, read, and read some more on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur

Have More Free Time

instantShift - Have More Free Time

Let’s face it, as web developers we don’t get much leisure time. In fact, if you were in a room full of devs and asked when was the last time anyone took a vacation many wouldn’t remember. That is not good. There isn’t a person alive that can be successful if they spend all their time working. A balance between leisure and work is vital to our health, mental state, keeping low levels of stress, and simply enjoying life.

Things To Do To Have More Free Time:

  • Step away from the monitor, turn off the computer, and step outside
  • Take up a sport and become a weekend warrior
  • Have a daily cutoff time for when you stop thinking about development work
  • Take five minutes every day to step outside and take in your environment

Getting In Better Shape

Okay so being a developer doesn’t have being able to spend all day working on your fitness as a perk. In fact, it would be easy to say that not being in shape is almost a requirement. Being in a job where the majority of time is spent sitting down and overloading on caffeine and sugary snacks to maintain energy throughout the day doesn’t scream marathon runner. However, it is not very hard to slowly begin to snap into acceptable physical condition.

Things To Do To Get In Better Shape:

  • Switch from coffee to tea
  • Incorporate more healthy snacks and food options into your diet
  • Make sure to incorporate some form of exercise at least 3 days a week in the evening or morning
  • Try to take as many walks as possible during the day
  • Look into some desk exercises

Learn A New Programming Language

instantShift - Learn A New Programming Language

Seemingly every year there is a new hot language, or pre processor, that starts to gain popularity. As professionals in the web industry, it is our job to make sure that we are always at the top of our game. Doing this requires us to be able to learn and adapt to the ever changing ways we use to interact with the web, which requires regularly branching off into a new language.

Things To Do To Learn A New Programming Language:

  • Look up and read good introductory blog articles
  • Pick up a great book
  • Take yourself to CodeAcademy, TeamTreehouse, or CodeSchool
  • Watch a good screen-cast
  • Pick up another great book

Successfully Start A Blog

So you’ve spent all year hearing about all the great benefits that starting a blog bring, and you’re ready to get a taste. Starting a blog is actually quite easy as long as you have the money for great hosting and design that gives users a great reading experience. Despite this ease in starting, there are many hurdles that come later. Things growing site traffic, regularly having fresh and unique content, advertising revenue, gathering visitors to interact and comment, and many more.

Things To Do To Successfully Start A Blog:

  • Base your blog on a niche market
  • Come up with a fun and creative name
  • Spend time creating a marketing plan
  • Allocate enough start up funds
  • Write guest posts to promote your blog on established blogs

Write A Book

instantShift - Write A Book

Whether you’re interested a possibly great source of passive income or something to make your resume look better, writing a book is something that has benefits for everyone. Now the perception on the process of book writing is that it is hard. Well, that’s true. There is no easy way at approaching writing a book and the editorial process, if you have editors that is, can be true torture. Of course there is a great saying that goes well with this, “nothing great comes without hard work trailing right behind it.”

Things To Do To Write A Book:

  • Pick a topic that you have a good amount of experience in
  • Take the time to improve your writing skills and grammar
  • Reach out to a great designer for the design aspects if its affordable
  • Figure out your target audience
  • Find a good page range to strive for
  • Set a goal of a set number of pages to write a week

Improve On What Your Know

Learning new things and partaking in new ventures is all great, but improving what you already know is great as well. Every year developers proclaim to step their already established skills to a new level. This can be a difficult thing to fit into a schedule when there is enormous amount of work to be done, or you’re stuck doing work that feels mundane.

Things To Do To Improve Yourself:

  • Start your own projects
  • Read, read, and read. You can never read enough
  • Write guest articles for blogs you respect
  • Find reasons to create challenges in your own work
  • Make the commitment and stop being content


Your Turn: What New Year’s Resolution Do You Have?


Image CreditsRubik’s Cube champion, Arms Wide Open – via BigStock

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