Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year (and Reflections On the Old One)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've all had an enjoyable holiday season with best wishes for an incredible 2007!

For me, this year is really starting off with a bang. First up is my youngest daughter's 9th birthday. She is autistic and provides our family with many challenges, but her unconditional love for everyone and her humor makes every day an exciting prospect. She definitely has a unique view of the world and it's quite fun (and sometimes sad) to try and see things through her eyes. Next week, we have an exchange student from Costa Rica coming to stay with us through the month of January. This is all thanks to my son, who so generously volunteered for the task earlier in the school year...without asking us first, of course! ;-) I'm sure my wife won't mind having a fourth kid to run around and keep track of as I head out for a week of fun and sun hard work and learning at Lotusphere! From the sounds of it, this is going to be one of the best Lotuspheres in many years and I'm especially excited since I'll be presenting (along with the legendary Nathan T. Freeman). I hope our session on interface design will help spark the imagination of more people in the Notes community to work on innovations in this space, as it is the collaborative nature of how we build upon each others' successes and ideas that makes doing this blog so exciting.

On the work front, this should be an interesting year as well. Since my company is in the midst of a large-scale integration, there are many uncertainties. At this point, I don't know that Notes will have a place in our future and if that's the case, will I? I already find myself wondering if now is the time to start casting nets to see what opportunities are out there. Should I do the independent consultant thing for awhile? Is now the time to leave Notes or should I throw myself behind the technology even more, using the momentum I've gained through this blog and other activities that have been going on the past few months? All good questions that will need to be answered...probably sooner than later.

As far as this blog goes, I hope to continue to deliver some interesting technical content to you. In addition, I am going to try and discuss more of the UI design ideas that I use frequently, as I have been asked about these topics by many people. This includes more detailed examination of low-fidelity prototyping, usability testing, etc. I've got some good ideas lined up and I plan to begin sharing these shortly after Lotusphere ends (I'll be busy preparing before then...not to mention chauffeuring an additional kid around ;-)

Now for the obligatory 2006 year in review...I promise to be extremely brief so as not to bore you (as if I haven't already). 2006 was an amazing year for me, in that I really rediscovered my love for Lotus Notes. I had wanted to start a blog for many years, but didn't really feel I had the voice I needed to get it out there. Part of the problem was the number of great sites...I didn't think I could add much to the conversation. However, I finally decided that I could focus on a niche aspect of Notes development that was my true interest...interface design. So much of my success in the Notes world has been in applying the principles of usability and good design to Notes applications. I figured that I could start to share some of my ideas with the community in a way that would enhance what others were already doing. Hopefully, I've met that goal at least a little bit. I'm very happy to say that my being asked to speak for the Lotus Developer 2006 conference was a direct result of this blog. Also, through this site I've met some amazing people and that itself is worth it.

In writing some of my posts during the year, I was continually reminded about how cool Notes really is. My hope for 2007 is that IBM continues to succeed with this amazing product.

I also started a new project over at OpenNTF. The Activity Tracking application has been well received and I think has a lot of great potential, as just a standard productivity analysis tool or even as part of the approach to your company's business compliance needs. (Thanks for the shout out, Chris!). Look for future enhancements to this tool...additional announcements to come soon.

So overall, yes...it was a great year. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to read and/or comment. Here's to an awesome 2007!


Richard Moy said...

Hope your company stays with Notes and Domino. I look forward to your session at Lotusphere.

John head said...

Nathan is only legendary in his own head :)

Seriously ... looking forward to the session you guys do and meeting both of you in person

Chris Blatnick said...

@Richard...thanks...me too! Please stop by and say hello if you get a chance at Lotusphere.

@John...LOL! :-) I do hope our session lives up to expectations. I look forward to meeting you as well. Cheers!

Nathan T. Freeman said...

I'm not even legendary in my own head. I'm more like a minor cameo in a B-movie. ;-)

And Chris, I hope your company doesn't stay with it, just so I can convince my boss to hire you. hehe

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