There is so much amazing stuff happening with technology today. I think I’m at a good spot in my career where I need to push my boundaries. I don’t have any development work as part of my job, so I think I need to pick up some hobby projects. My comfort zone is within the Microsoft stack: C#, IIS, and SQL Server really. Below is a list of things that I think I need to learn more about in 2011. It’s more like a list of personal goals, but also in case I lose focus as time goes on it’s here to remind me.

1) MongoDB

I have installed MongoDB twice before, but never really did anything with it other an walk through a couple of tutorials and think, “That’s pretty neat”, and just move on. There’s something about the scalability and ease of use of a NoSQL database that I find interesting.

2) MonoDroid

I know this isn’t a large learning curve since I will still be using C#, but I have never done mobile development. I have an HTC Incredible and I love it. I’m sure I can come up with some app that I want and code it up. I just signed up for the Preview. Crossing my fingers that I get accepted.

3) Clojure

I walked through a few of the tutorials but I haven’t really dove into it. I really need to figure out a project that could use Clojure. Functional programming really interests me, but I just don’t have the need for it… yet.

4) Windows Azure

Yeah, I know that’s really broad and there are a bunch of different parts to it. I have an MSDN subscription so I can play around on a small scale for free. I think it’s going to be important to really understand how it works and what I might be able to use it for.

5) node.js

It’s not super Windows friendly, but it sounds like you can get it to run via Cygwin. It sounds like it’s really cool and worth checking out. At a minimum I can pretend to be one of the cool kids that knows it’s potential.

I’m sure this will change, but it’s a pretty good start I think.