I've been reading up and using the Hibernate 3 persistance model over the last couple of weeks, but I've reached a crossroads. After learning the basics of any technology, you are exposed to a world of applications beyond casual usage. In my case, it seems annotations are my next step. While researching what the heck these are about, I came across a lot of frameworks that support the feature, the most promising being the Spring Framework. I'm not likely to adopt it, unless I have to.
In a world of technology that changes so often, you must keep abreast with the happenings in your specialty. Part of what keeps me competitive is my relentless pursuit and desire to learn any new techniques that crop up in the programming (web, Java, and databases). The big benefit is that most new techniques include tools that make a developer's work easier; so why not adopt whatever helps me be more productive? It's almost a fulltime "job" on its own, and it gets harder when school starts. So on days when I don't wanna socialize, I'll lock myself in my room and get lost in code. Wonder whether it's a good way to spend time, but it certainly helps my hungry brain ...
So, for the next few weeks I will move from Hibernate basics -> Annotations -> EJB3. This path covers the data access and persistance layer of any data-intensive application. Form there, I'll whoosh back to JSF and how to make Oracle's ADF framework work on my JBoss application servers. That effectively covers my need to catch up on servlet/JSP (presentation) technologies. Then I really want to get into graphics on one of two fronts (or both): web media or game programming. I think I'll refresh on some web design concepts too, including the newest craze AJAX.
This is a good time to focus on skill improvement because I have no active projects via Strive (just maintenance), and no school for the summer. I have no idea what will happen when any of that changes. But it won't be more than I can bear, I'm sure.