Every year it seems to become more difficult to remain current on new technology. The following is definitely a bit ambitious, but if I accomplish fifty percent, I will be more than satisfied.

.Net
I’ve gone through various phases of my career where my responsibilities have switched from SQL Server centric to Visual Basic centric and back again as far as development is concerned. Although I’m now concentrating more on SQL Server/data modeling/ETL in my current role, I still need to stay current should the need arise. That being said, my .Net goals are the following:

LINQ & WPF.
I’m still “old school” when it comes to .Net development. I know there are several scenarios where LINQ would make my development more agile and allow me to get tasks accomplished more quickly. WPF would be nice to learn as well, but in the corporate world, desktop applications are fading a bit and fancy screens aren’t at the top of the list. So WPF would be a “nice to have.”

SQL Server
Top of the list here would be becoming familiar with SQL Server 2008. I had an advantage when 2005 was released—I lead a small department embarking on a new data warehousing project so it was fairly easy to select the latest and greatest technology. At the present, it’s not as straightforward to move to a new platform. However as far as development is concerned, the following look like interesting additions to SQL 2008:
• Table valued parameters
• Built-in Change Data Capture
• T-SQL Merge statement
• Improvements to Reporting Services (definitely needed)

I also need to start using common table expressions more often—often enough that they become second nature and I don’t have to reference MSDN for any syntax hints even on brain-dead days.

Other

There are several other areas wherein improvements have been made to the underlying technology but I’ve become rusty and fallen behind on due to infrequent usage the past couple of years. I’d like to get back up to speed on the following:

• Crystal Reports
• C#
• DB2/400

…And Most Importantly
Much of my free time in 2009 should be taken up by home improvement projects. I could create a two page list just on this, but it wouldn’t be that interesting.