This week at work, I got initial GoalPost evaluation out the door, ready for the Teaching and Learning Conference, at which I’m presenting. From management info & what informal feedback I have, GoalPost has been a success, both in terms of usage and fulfilling its purpose; especially in the quality of student/tutor interaction.

I’ve also completed reading Code Complete (2nd edition), the modern software development classic, during lunch breaks. Each page has gold, and it’s good to see that I already know/figured out a good chunk of its content – but to fill some more gaps is very gratifying. I had the first edition in a previous job, but it grew legs and walked before I was a third of the way through…

So on to the next bit of techie personal development (assuming you don’t see stuff like expanders like Free Your Creative Spirit, the deconstruction of Understanding Comics, and historical paganism such as Sutton Hoo as all aspects of some greater seamless whole) is, yes, Ruby on Rails. I was going to try and build on the Java I learnt at Uni but the groundswell of Ruby is undeniable - it makes you realise Java is now as bogged down as C++ was when Java came along (especially with web development, which Rails is built for) and Rails is taking strides in the enterprise even faster than Java was. I am doing my usual tactic of learning it on one parallel track, and doing something ‘interesting’ alongside. Looks like Rails doesn’t encapsulate client-side animation as well as I was led to believe, for starters.

It’s generally recognised that we are in the early stages of a new Internet boom  -based around Web 2.0 and its various components such as social software and network-as-platform, hopefully unlocking the web’s potential as an enabler of people, rather than the management-and-marketing-driven dot.com boom.

I am positioned well to make good use of the ongoing shift – I have experience with client-side Javascript/DOM programming, high-level application design (something sorely needed to tie disparate server and client structure, presentation, and functionality together; see Javascript and “serious” programmers), but probably most of all, I believe have the “architect’s instinct” for it – not a day goes by without me seeing how heuristics and approaches in something as ‘obscure’ as software development (which seem obvious to me) relate to both my personal philosophy and my outlook on society at large. Or perhaps I’m just weird.

Be interesting to see where this leads…

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