New Years Resolutions for software developers

It’s traditional to make resolutions to celebrate the New Year. Often those resolutions involve battles with personal demons, such as losing weight, stopping smoking or going to the gym.

In fact, according to, popular New Years resolutions include those above, plus getting a better job, reducing stress and volunteering to help other people.

Those are general resolutions. What sort of resolutions should we make as technologists and as software developers? Here are some ideas:

• Resolve not to engage in zero-sum ideological wars of any sort. It’s not about Mac vs. Windows, Java vs. .NET, open-source vs. proprietary, iPhone vs. Droid, XP vs. Scrum.

• Resolve to make sure that the entire team understands the importance of software testing, and that it’s harmful to take shortcuts.

• Resolve to embrace those aspects of agile software development which add value to team efforts, while resisting those efforts that don’t appear to offer tangible benefits.

• Resolve to study emerging technologies, paradigms and methodologies, and urge pilots and adoption where it makes sense.

• Resolve not to be railroaded into jumping onto any bandwagons, whether it’s about mobile, agile or cloud computing.

• Resolve to embrace open standards, and to resist being seduced onto proprietary platforms that have a high exit cost.

• Resolve to educate ourselves by reading books and trusted news sources, attending conferences and staying up on emerging trends.

• Resolve to fight groupthink by challenging the status quo and by hanging out with people who have different ideas about computing.

• Resolve to spend less time on Twitter and Facebook, and spend more quality in-person time with friends and family.

Do you have ideas for New Year’s resolutions for folks in the software-development industry?

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick