As 2011 is drawing to a close (seriously, where has this year gone?) I think it's time for a quick look forward.

It's been a turbulent year, especially for the Flash Platform. We have some ups, and definitely some downs, and at times it felt as if our beloved community was imploding. Some folks have moved on and are quite likely never to return - 'sinking ship' comes to mind. Whilst I'm not the captain of that particular ship, I certainly hold the rudder for my own little boat and despite what Adobe may want us to believe it is clear to everyone that Flash has had its peak. I feel a bit sad about that, and it's not really because of the technology but because of the aforementioned community; I just don't feel that I'll find the same mix of creativity, problem solving and 'thinking outside the box' spirit elsewhere. The Flash community has been and still is one of a kind and I hope it will stay that way in 2012 and beyond.

In terms of new technologies to pick up next year there are plenty to choose from. Too many almost, and I for one feel a bit overwhelmed at times. I have a feeling I am not alone.

I'm also not totally sure which way to turn; it would be logical to brush up on some JavaScript (and here I was thinking I had closed that chapter 10 years ago...) and clearly it wouldn't be too hard to get up to speed. After all the similarities between JS and ActionScript are huge, but that alone won't make you a happy coder. Above all one needs to truly love what they are doing, as only then will the results be outstanding. So yes, JS is a definite win in terms of paying the bills, but I'm not yet sure if it'll be as much fun as Flash, Flex and ActionScript have been. Time will tell, and time it will take to make a decision, at least for me.
Having had a closer look at jQuery and some other JS libraries I think it *could* be fun - at least the JavaScript part. What I'm not so sure of is how much fun HTML and CSS will be - again those technologies are something I've left behind, at least to some extend. Sure, I still have to touch it almost daily, building user registrations forms and even entire sites, but it's never something I get much enjoyment out of. Perhaps I too am too lazy to be an HTML developer...? On the flip side, maybe HTML5 could change that - finally we can build applications - not just websites - that bear some similarity to Flex RIAs. Taking things a step further, I can see that it could be Flex developers who will be the ones bringing the most experience to the table. And don't fool yourself: JS syntax may be easy to pick up, but you won't become a JS developer overnight. Experience is gained by putting in the time, and building real-world applications, not by reading a dozen books (although that won't hurt).
Don't be distracted by people telling you that you must learn x or study y this year. Sure, have a play, explore new things, but only stick to it if you like what you see, and move on to something else if you don't.

So maybe you are like me and you too are excited about a developer in this day and age. And maybe you too won't just jump on the next bandwagon because it's 'cool', but because you enjoy the ride. I know I will, I'm just not quite sure which ride it'll be. The choices are vast these days, and I think it's important to choose carefully.

Happy new year, let's kick ass in 2012!