Web Development Goals

I've always been a bit of a goal- and task- orientated person. The only thing I enjoy more than making a long to do list at the beginning of a week is crossing the items off of the list one at a time. Now that I'm a 'real adult' with a full time job and puppy, I decided to create a list of goals to aim for over the next five years. Most of these goals are under the realm of self-improvement; financial security, physical fitness, etc. I wanted to post about some of the web development related goals, both to give readers an idea of where I'm expecting my web skills (and, directly, personal web sites) to head in the future and to place additional pressure on myself to continually progress on the goals.

Learn new programming languages

Over the last couple of years I've managed to teach myself most of what I know of xHTML, CSS, SQL, PHP, and Javascript. However, there are a few languages that I want to learn that I've dabbled in the past. I use some XML, mostly in the form of KML and RSS, but I don't know much about XSL and XSLT. I'd like to be able to create my own XML schemas and parsing templates to the point where I can create entire xHTML web sites using clean XML data. Another language that I've played in, but have yet to fully understand is Flash and ActionScript 3.0. I've created a few clumsy web sites and movies using these technologies, and I'd like to start taking my scripts outside of my SWF files and working with Flex projects. The other two programming languages that I've considered, but haven't yet committed to, are Ruby and AS.NET.

Start working more with programming frameworks

I usually try to avoid frameworks, relying on the pure language to do most of the work in an efficient, non bloated manner. However, I have grown rather found of jQuery's handling of different browser handling of Javascript. To complement this, I would like to learn more about MooTools, as I've heard that it does a better job at extending Javascript functionality than jQuery. Learning Joomla and Drupal could help shorten my development time of new, managed web sites, since recreating custom PHP back ends for each web site I work on gets quite tiring and time consuming.

Google Applications

I'm a bit of a Google fan boy. I use an overwhelming number of Google Applications, including Maps, Web Tools, and Analytics, and would like to learn more about these and other tools for web site development. The Google tools I'm still hesitant about are Wave and SideWiki, as it gives site visitors the ability to create new information regarding a web page outside of the web master's control. Otherwise, I'd like to continue learning about and implementing more Google Applications in my web sites.

These are my primary goals over the next few years when it comes to web site development. When it comes to my personal site, I plan on creating new subdomains based on my current and planned web skills, including some stand-alone applications and some that are already built internal data structure (example: secondary blog fully based on XML and XSLT for the front end logic). As always, I also plan on sharing helpful tips and techniques through this blog as I continue to learn more about web development.