This is the time that we think upon the next year, hopefully using lessons learned from the last to do better. January 1st is the time for resolutions such as loose weight, exercise more, give up that bad habit or some other challenge that we each have in our daily lives. For me January 1st also  marks my birthday, and this year the pivotal 40th. Unlike other people, I do not give much to statements like your another year older, or how does it feel now that …. since really we are really moments older and these anniversaries rarely have any impact or significant change that can be measured. Its not like some switch is turned on an you are wiser or less wise, capable or less capable or have been given the divine touch and have all the answers to the questions that have been piling up our whole lives. The thing about knowledge is that it accumulates through time, and unless you have some life altering ‘Aha’ moment this is the way it has to be.

So as I reflect back to the last year, I count myself as very lucky. I started my company and in all counts it has been very successful in accomplishing its goals in customer base and growth. I have hoped to have hired some developers by now but looking forward with the stability of the economy, I believe being a small consulting firm will prove more resilient then a larger one and help me avoid any cutbacks in providing service to my customer base.

I was looking to avoid mobile development in 2008 and move on to more diverse projects. For the most part that goal was accomplished however I did engage in several mobile projects and currently working on a native BlackBerry application. Through this I have gained a greater appreciation for Microsoft. I can imagine several readers rolling their eyes now, but for a developer tooling and libraries make or break the development cycle, and I still believe in the development space Microsoft is the one to beat.
For my Java development and BlackBerry I have been using eclipse and it comes along way to parity with Visual Studio, but is not quite there. There are too many fundamental plumbing needs that are not yet supported in the environment and for me Java as a language seems, and this may sound funny but ‘Stale’ ….

I have also been able to do quite a bit of SalesLogix web development over the last year and since 7.5 the development has gotten much better. I believe that this CRM product is going in the right direction. Through the next year I hope to be able to provide not only development services but also work on product evangelism with videos, and some training offerings. Over the next year I also hope to dig deeper into the core and understand even more of the infrastructure and how to extend the product more and more including SData and Process Host.

The one thing that I had a problem starting over the last year was custom software/add-on’s. For the better or worse I was always on an external engagement and worked quite long hours that when I was complete I just wanted to spend some time with my family. I am hoping to kick off several projects this year, including creating a SDK/Library for SalesLogix integration. This project will start shortly as I have several engagements that could use this shared generic capabilities.

I also was quite lax on my blogging, and I had hoped to start to create how-to-videos. I hope to do better in 2009 but only time will tell if this comes occurs.

I am writing this blog as I get a notebook setup for a business trip to the UK, leaving this afternoon and from all indications it seems 2009 is going to be an interesting year.

– Mark

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