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Denis Gobo

Become a Better Developer... in 6 months

I just listened to the latest Hanselminutes podcast: Be a Better Developer in Six Months

Scott Hanselman asks “what are you going to do in the next 6 months to become a better developer”?

He suggest reading books, nerd dinners, having lunches together with other non competitive companies, watch webcasts together during lunch and code reading.


Here is what I am going to do for the next 6 months


I am going to read a technical book every 10 days and review every single book


That should be possible now that my twins are one year old (tomorrow). I have a bit more free time at night to read. Here is the list of books, some of them I have read, some I have partially read.


Code Complete (reread)

I think this is one of those books that you should read once a year.


Practices of an Agile Developer

Some good stuff in here, in ordered it a couple of months ago but did not read it yet.


Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying  (partial reread)

I read several chapters but did not read the whole book.


Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: The Storage Engine (reread)

I have read parts of this one; I have read the 2000 edition several times.


Refactoring  (reread)

I was thinking Design Patterns (GOF) or this one. As you can see I have chosen Refactoring.



Why refactor when you can prefactor? I just skimmed through it in the book store and it looks promising.


Open Sources 2.0

Open Sources 2.0 is a collection of insightful and thought-provoking essays from today's technology leaders that continues painting the evolutionary picture that developed in the 1999 book Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution.


Pragmatic Unit Testing in C# with NUnit

New edition.


Building the Data Warehouse (reread)

Read this one several years ago, will read it again


Expert SQL Server 2005 Integration Services

Will read this together with the one below at work; have to convert about 60 DTS packages to SSIS.


Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services


Beautiful Code

In this unique and insightful book, leading computer scientists offer case studies that reveal how they found unusual, carefully designed solutions to high-profile projects. You will be able to look over the shoulder of major coding and design experts to see problems through their eyes.


Pro SQL Server 2005 Database Design and Optimization (reread)

Read this will read it again


The Art of SQL

Heard some good stuff about this book.


Getting Things Done

We all need some help with organizing our lives.


Lifehacker  (reread)

Getting ThingsDone for the computer person, very useful stuff inside.


Framework Design Guidelines (reread)

Very nice book, you will learn why something was done a certain way. Good tips on what to avoid and what should be done.



New language Book probably Python or Ruby( you decide)


Here is a pic of the books I have at home, the others I have at work or I still have to purchase them. 





I will watch 2 web casts a week during lunch time and review those also.


I will look at high quality source code from open source projects and also from the book Beautiful Code. I will go to CodePlex to download a couple of open source projects and will study the source code


I will learn a new language (I actually got this from Ken Henderson who suggests to learn a new language every year) and rewrite one of the current applications in that language. This way I don’t have to worry about logic problems and design, I just have to translate the code.


I will learn a new technology. I am thinking either WCF or WPF



I will keep updates on Pownce (sorry folks no invites left) everyday The reason I am doing this is so that someone can call me out in case I don’t keep my promise. This is similar to stopping smoking but not telling anyone, if you do that then who knows you stopped so that they can confront you?


I know this is cheesy but I will do it anyway, I will tag 5 people I (kind of) know and I want them to tell us their plans.

Adam Machanic

Louis Davisdson

Peter DeBetta

Mladen Prajdic

Hugo Kornelis


And I will tag 5 people whose blogs I read but I don’t know them

Jeff Smith

Jason Gaylord

Jeff Altwood

Matija Lah

Ward Pond



And you the reader, what will you do in the next 6 months to become a better developer?

Published Monday, July 16, 2007 11:37 AM by Denis Gobo
Filed under: , ,



Rick said:

I'm gonna stop playing Minesweeper and Spider Solitaire... after one more game.


July 16, 2007 11:13 AM

Mladen said:

you're an ambitious fellow :)

July 16, 2007 11:18 AM

Phil said:

For immediate needs, I'm going through the Wrox Box ASP.NET collection.

I'll definitely take a look at the coding books you listed.  And a new language

(probably c# or x++) won't hurt.

That in addition to keeping up with SQL Server.  Do we have enough

to do yet?

July 16, 2007 11:46 AM

SELECT Hints, Tips, Tricks FROM Hugo Kornelis WHERE RDBMS = 'SQL Server' said:

It's all the fault of Denis Gobo . He tagged me , and now I feel obliged to publish my plans for the

July 17, 2007 6:08 PM

Adam Machanic said:

So just like poor Hugo , I've been tagged by the menacing Denis , asked to describe the steps I will

July 17, 2007 7:37 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Today my twins are one year old . It is supposed to be a little easier from now on (until they hit 2

July 17, 2007 8:08 PM

Jeff said:

Ah! I see how it works now ... the tag confused me at first, I thought I was in trouble!   I will also see what I can come up with.  Thanks, Denis, that's a great idea.  We all have room for improvement, me more than anyone, that's for sure.  My focus might shift a little from programming and move towards visual design tools and techniques (i.e., web design, photoshop, maybe even some Flash!) .. I do more and more web development these days ....

July 18, 2007 1:50 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Here is an update of what I accomplished in the first 10 days Read the book lifehacker Read the book

July 25, 2007 2:44 PM

Jeff said:

hi Denis -- I have finally posted my response:

July 26, 2007 9:42 AM

Denis Gobo said:

Here is an update of what I accomplished in the first 20 days Read the book lifehacker Read the book

August 6, 2007 11:14 AM

.2.1.1. said:

February 12, 2010 9:20 AM

aisha said:

February 17, 2016 4:41 PM
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About Denis Gobo

I was born in Croatia in 1970, when I was one I moved to Amsterdam (and yes Ajax is THE team in Holland) and finally in 1993 I came to the US. I have lived in New York City for a bunch of years and currently live in Princeton, New Jersey with my wife and 3 kids. I work for Dow Jones as a Database architect in the indexes department, one drawback: since our data goes back all the way to May 1896 I cannot use smalldates ;-( I have been working with SQL server since version 6.5 and compared to all the other bloggers here I am a n00b. Some of you might know me from or even from some of the newsgroups where I go by the name Denis the SQL Menace If you are a Tek-Tips user then you might know me by the name SQLDenis, I am one of the guys answering SQL Questions in the SQL Programming forum.

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