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Why its useful to have a personal skill matrix

andrewbaisden profile image Andrew Baisden ・2 min read

One of the most important areas to consider when you are a developer is how well you are progressing and what areas you need to improve in. Having a skills matrix allows you to gauge your progress which makes it a lot easier for you to set out a roadmap for areas that you want to gain knowledge in. I think this is also a great way to combat some aspects of imposter syndrome as you can have a visual idea of your overall technical stack as well as knowing what type of level you feel you are at personally. Many companies already use such a format as they like to see how good their team of developers currently are and how capable they are at working on a variety of projects.

The data that you use for your skill matrix is likely to be completely dynamic as you are going to learn new things throughout your career as a programmer. And as this data is dynamic you can visually see how well you are doing and plan ahead for the future. Something like this is key regardless if you are currently looking for work or already in employment. As the industry keeps changing with new advancements in technology and in the tools and programming languages that we use day to day. Keeping your skills fresh and up to date with a structured skill matrix can give you much added confidence in the work that you do.

See the examples below for an example of how that could look.

Skill Matrix Graph

https://res.cloudinary.com/d74fh3kw/image/upload/v1605452948/skill_matrix_graph_nri2le.png

Skill Matrix Table

https://res.cloudinary.com/d74fh3kw/image/upload/v1605452948/skill_matrix_table_fvwbpa.png

Discussion

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

I'm not convinced, self evaluation is inherently broken

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2...

If you use those charts to find out in which area you have an appetite to learn more, why not doing only that, listing in which area you have an appetite to learn more?

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

I still think it has its uses. If a beginner with no prior coding experience was to go from zero to having the ability to build websites. That is real progress that you can both see and experience. It is not meant to be scientific and 100% accurate it is just a way to see how well your learning is progressing.

Working on projects and doing online code tests is how you can gauge what improvements you have made. So in this respect I believe that self evaluation can be valid. For example if someone used to have trouble passing tests on data structures and algorithms and then invested the time in getting better. And they were to retake those tests and get much higher scores. Then you know you have become a better developer as a result of your hard work learning.

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nicolasomar profile image
Nicolás Omar González Passerino

I think your idea is a good approach in order to have a visual apreciation of your skills, for what I saw in some implementation for this kind of evaluation, always ended in a simplified version of what could be.
I would like to create a graphic with better context visualization like yours in the future.

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ryan_ai profile image
Ryan M

I am sorry, what does 11.8% JavaScript mean? For that matter how could anyone claim to know 100% JavaScript?

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

In that example it could be the percentage split between all the programming languages that you know. So the bigger the number the higher the proficiency or even usage.

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ryan_ai profile image
Ryan M

It is an interesting idea but I wouldn’t use charts to describe something so subjective.

It might be a neat thing to analyze the code used on a per project basis and make charts with that data. That would be more objective.

I think you are on to something, just try to shift it towards objective data.

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pomfrit123 profile image
***

cool, what software did you used?

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

I used airtable and canva. Any spreadsheet or table software should be sufficient. You could even create it in Notion if you use that app.