Professional Development Goals for 2014

As October draws to a close, the time has come to set professional development goals for 2014. Three are required by my employer. After some consideration, I have chosen to pursue 1) learning Python, 2) learning HTML+CSS and JavaScript, 3) and learning about the grant writing process.

Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

A while back, I decided to jump into Objective-C programming so that I could build an iOS app. While I did build an app, it was very crude and I eventually gave up on learning that language. However, my desire to learn a programming language has not disappeared entirely.

Choosing a language was difficult, and I think is where many people get stuck. A friend encouraged working with the .NET framework; my manager encouraged learning Python, along with JavaScript and HTML+CSS. After reading up on Python, I decided it sounded like a good route to take. It’s modern, widely used, gaining in popularity, and fits in well with my current field.

As with any language – spoken, signed, or computer-based – the key to learning is application. I’m going to use Codecademy  to start, but Head First Python also looks interesting. Codecademy will also be my friend for starting out on the other languages.

Grant Writing

Grant writing is widely needed, but relatively few people know how to do it or have the knack for it. As our non-profit is currently looking into grant opportunities, now is a good time for me to become more familiar with the process. Grant writing has also proven to be a valuable contract-based skill, which may prove helpful if certain personal goals pan out.

Bring it on, 2014!