As the year lurches to a close, I'ma gettin' all reflective and stuff. The last two years have been pretty key for me career-wise. Looking back, you'd almost think I had a plan. In general terms, 2007 was learning hillbilly as I put some effort into a learning regime. More importantly, I got on track for continuous learning.

2008 was community hillbilly as I started connecting more with my online brethren and sistren both in attending, and speaking at, conferences and user groups. I'd enumerate them but if you care that much, you can click on the Community category to get a summary. Plus I don't want to give my wife and daughter any ammunition for the "you're never home" discussions that have abated of late.

It also marked the launch of the Bahamas .NET User Group which is something I'm particularly proud of. And this segues nicely into my 2009 plans.

The coming year will be introvert hillbilly but not in a bad way. I won't be withdrawing from what I like doing, which is to connect with other people in the industry. But looking over my travel schedule of the last year, and it wasn't nearly as intense as many people I talk to (especially my co-author, who essentially toured Canada coast-to-coast, as well as India, the US, and somewhere in Europe, all for community work), I'm looking to put some direction to my efforts.

So my two over-arching goals are: continue doing community work, and travel less. Luckily, we work in an industry where this is not even possible, it's viable.

Community comes in two flavours: global and local. For the last year and a bit-ish, I've been skewing more on the former. For 2009, my focus is going to be on the latter. The Bahamas is an untapped treasure trove, I think. The proximity to the US certainly helps and it's a nice, small, manageable market.

The industry is so young here that it would be remiss of me not to take advantage of the opportunity. The people want to learn but don't yet have years of bad habits ingrained into them. Not two weeks ago, I kid you not, I had a request on how to access data without using stored procedures. I just about cried with joy. I'm planning to have the e-mail bronzed and framed.

So the intent is to spend more time closer to home. Along with regular user group meetings, I'm hoping to try some half-day to day long seminars on various subjects, almost certainly starting with fundamentals. And for those of you following my attempts at a conference, keep your Bermuda shorts on. This winter is too early but it's still a possibility for 2009/2010 winter.

Which is not to say I'll be ignoring the global aspect, at least not altogether. As much as Brendan wants to maintain his subscription level, I plan to stick around here for a while yet, if only to see if I can top my single favorite post which I made so early in my tenure. I also have a raft of Dimecast ideas to sift through as well as a few other plans, each more nebulous than the last.

Finally, while I recognize that there is little by way of "official CodeBetter" advice here, I'm posting this anyway. I mention this partially to pre-empt the inevitable "stay on topic" comments because responding to them requires more thought, tact, and, most importantly, time than you might think. But mostly because I think there is a parable or two buried in here somewhere for others. In any case, I have no intention of turning this place into a BahaNET bulletin board (other plans are afoot in that arena). Just taking advantage of the latitude usually granted to year-end bloggers.

Kyle the Communal