Career Reboot: It’s just a reboot, not a whole new one!

Having written my last post about the problems I have now found myself in with my career and lack of skills I did what I normally do; come up with a Grand Plan!

True to form I decided that the best thing to do was to dive head first into a bunch of new stuff and try to learn my way out of trouble and take things to extremes. I was going to do everything on the command line, learn Ruby, Node, work on Linux servers the whole nine yards. I was going to be one of those “cool” developers you see at conferences, blah, blah, blah.
rooted my Nexus 10 to the allow me to install Ubuntu via chroot. It was all pretty simple, and I even learnt you could download torrents directly to a tablet. I followed the GoRails tutorial for installing a working development environment for Rails and Node. I set VIM up for developing and I was all ready to go. I had a tablet ready for development action!
Then a couple of things happened. Firstly, I started having problems with my Bluetooth keyboard, it would connct fine, but there was an issue with it appearing like keys were getting stuck and mutiple characters would appear on the screen. This would happen randomly, and it was enough to make the whole experience unusable. It seems to be a problem on the Android tablet side as I tried more than one keyboard and had the same problem. I don’t know if there are just general problems with Android and Bluetooth as my Nexus 4 has trouble reconnecting to devices once they are disconnected and I have to turn the Bluetooth off and on again, I even installed a widget on my home screen so I can do it quickly!
The second thing that happened was I had a sinus operation, whilst that was not particularly life changing from a technology point of view, the lying around being zoned out on painkillers for a few days was. It gave me a chance to think and removed all of the normal emotion and impulsivness I have when I make a decision to do something. This is the state I normally get to after 2-3 weeks of jumping head first into something and trying to do it all at once and then realising that it was a mistake from the start. The drugs helped me get a better persepective on what I was trying to achieve and how was the best way to get there.
What I concluded was; by trade I am a .Net developer (when I am allowed) I live in Visual Studio and use purely Microsoft tools amd languages. These are the skills that I have let go and need to get back. Going off on a tangent and working on projects in Linux using Rails and Node is not going to benefit me from a career point of view, right now.

There is also the fact that I would need to learn these new languages, so I would need to do courses, tutorials and spend a lot of time searching on Google. Whilst I have let myself go with .net stuff I still know enough to be able to develop applications and utilities. This means I can be productive straight away. I have ideas for programs and scripts to help me out with tasks, I just need to work on them. If I started learning new things then I would get bored/frustrated quickly as I wouldn’t be able to get something working. Once I have a basic application then I can iterate over it learning new techniques and skills that will in turn improve my work in my job.

So the conclusion is that I need to concentrate on what I already have as a base, and work on that. Just throwing it all away and trying something new is not the right way to proceed.

Once I have been able to work on this and my general development skillset is back to a decent level then I will certainly look at branching out to look at new languages and technologies. Right now though I feel that if I were to look into all these new exciting things it would do more harm than good and not give me back all the things I realise I have lost.