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What's on Your Personal Development Plan?

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So I was wondering... (23 Part Series)

1) What's your opinion on Coding Bootcamps? 2) How does your workplace approach Health and Wellness? 3 ... 21 3) Start-up v Corporate, which do you prefer? 4) Encouraging others to write blog posts 5) Choose Your Own (Career) Adventure 6) How does your workplace approach recognition? 7) My 2018 Year in Review on dev.to 8) Do you work on call? 9) How Many Comms Tools are Too Many? 10) What's your Wifi's name? 11) Which game are you playing right now? 12) What's your type? 13) How do you onboard a new team member? 14) What are your favourite resources for beginners? 15) What Advice Would You Give Your 20-year-old Self? 16) What are you (still) not interested in learning? 17) Follow Friday: Which DEVs would you recommend following? 18) Say something nice about another DEV member 19) Follow Friday: Which DEVs would you recommend following? 20) What do you have to Google? Every. Single. Time. 21) What Do You Find Difficult about SQL and Databases? 22) What's on Your Personal Development Plan? 23) Career Progression: What Does It Mean to You?

It's that time of year again, time to decide what's on your Personal Development Plan and what you're committed to learning about.

What's on yours?


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I'm entering the back half of my career and once I hit manager I realized that the skills I'd need for what's next were different than the skills that got me here.

I see two paths ahead for me: continue to grow as a business leader and work on my communications, management, and leadership skills or embrace some things inside me and become some flavor of teacher, helping other people learn and grow.

Both paths rely on written and verbal communication as well as an investment in people, and so I've been striving to write and speak more.

I'm going to continue to do this and get better at communicating technical matters in an accessible way.

 

so I've been striving to write and speak more

This, so much. I've come to the same realisation that most of the feedback that I give to my team mates these days is related to improving communication.

My three big goals this year are, learn a new programming language, get my Russian to the level it was at during Uni, and give a talk at a coding convention

 

I had the opportunity to become a manager at my company just about two weeks ago. I turned it down yesterday. I realized that I loved coding and I don't think I would be great at managing others.

So, I'm taking a different direction. I've asked to be a mentor. Teaching, coaching and helping other developers grow is pretty fulfilling. To that end, I really need to blog more (or at all). And, I'll have to get over my introvertedness.

 

Wise decision, but drop the "get over my introvertedness" bit. It's part of your makeup and your mindset shouldn't be to not be that way.

However you can, as an introvert, become comfortable in leadership and speaking roles. I love helping people one on one. I've come to see the help I can offer in group teaching settings as well. The introversion is still a key part of my makeup, but that just informs what I'm most comfortable with as well as how I recharge and how often I need to.

For me, I need solitary and time to build, think, read, and write. But that time charges me up to give more to others and focus on sharing the passion and care I have about life while helping others be better.

Doesn't happen overnight, and you may not even want to go that road, but introversion isn't necessarily an obstacle to it.

Of course you're right. It was bad phrasing on my part. I'm actually closer to an extroverted introvert in that I don't usually mind social interactions, I just have a hard time initiating them and then maintaining them once started. It's probably why I like to code so much as I don't have to interact with many people. I want to be more of a people person, I just don't always have the energy or constant motivation.

In any event, I like helping people. So, that's the direction I'm pivoting my careeer towards.

 

That's an inspirational goal to have :) Do you intend to keep up with the technical side as you build up the business and and leadership skills? I'm curious how Leaders make that work.

 

Half of what I'm doing writing (or more) is me maintaining or growing my development skills. At some point, I think leaders move more away from technical / code / framework details and more towards higher-level technologies. Less about the individual pieces and more about how they fit together in an enterprise.

 

I'm just going to share without any fear.

So usually I'm afraid to share my thoughts on software engineering subject, even having experience 3+ years (not much but it's not nothing). So I always doubt that I'm qualified enough to discuss anything, but you'll never know until you try, so I'm going to start trying, and I'll do it right now.

  1. To prepend my plan: I work on improving my English knowledge, so I'm sorry if you face any shameful mistakes in my writing.
  2. I work on improving my algorithms and problem solving skills (btw I use codeforces for that), and I plan on practice on leetcode also. So the plan is to reach 1 division on codeforces and be able to solve most of coding interview tasks, and some advanced problems
  3. I plan also finish micro web application for board game, this should improve my react+scss/css+html+typescript knowledge
  4. I plan to continue reading some fundamental books about Design, Compilers, Algorithms and so on
  5. I also plan to write at least couple of articles on software engineering subject.
  6. The main thing I plan to do is rework a subsystem that I work on everyday, until I can be sure that it's not embarrassing to give that subsystem to other engineers to continue work on it. So my plan is to have it finished by next fall. And then I'll have to decide whether I'll stay on that project, or I'm moving to another project/team because of no professional growth.

That's all fellows, you didn't have to read this, it's more for myself, but anyway thanks for the opportunity.

 

Regarding technical topics: getting more into React, looking at Gatsby.js, and then there's the somewhat elusive goal of "getting better at design" ... oh, and maybe attempt to do a project with proper TDD from beginning till end.

The other half would be more about marketing (which includes building a proper website), blogging, business development (as a freelancer), stuff like that. And finally start contributing to OSS on a somewhat more serious level.

 

Those are some lofty goals. Do you ever document them and put some timeframes around what you will do first?

 

Yeah I know it's (too) ambitious. I think I should prioritize and decide which goals I REALLY want to go after. Let me give it a try:

1) Marketing & business dev because that's what potentially puts money in the bank
2) React (and Gatsby as a vehicle) because of the demand in the market
3) Blogging and OSS

1 and 2 are "bread and butter" which at this stage is getting kind of urgent. And 3 is the somewhat more 'idealistic' thing where I'd be trying to give something back to the community, I feel that one is important for balance.

Looks great, thanks for sharing.

I'm finding that I'm chasing too many things and getting overwhelmed. Having to write them all down and just 'pick one' to start tackling helped prioritise the ever growing list :)

Yeah a long laundry list doesn't work, it's intimidating. If I have a set of goals that I know are feasible then it increases the likelihood that I'm actually doing something about it. As always, 3 is a good number.

 

For this year my plan is to advance pretty fast in my Toastmasters Pathways ( that means that I am committed to give at least a speech a month) - this will improve my public speaking and leadership skill.
Programmingwise I will try out the Solutions Architect Certification.
Hopefully I will decide to speak at a meetup. ( unfortunately I submitted 2 speeches at a Serverless conference but they weren't accepted - a relief, but also now an excuse to postpone that goal)

 

Hello fellow Toastmaster! What path are you doing? I'm working on Dynamic Leadership πŸ™‚

 

I am on Innovative Planning. How long have you been a Toastmaster?

Quite a while, since 2015! I completed the Competent Communicator manual before Pathways. How about you?

wow! congrats!!
I started exactly one year ago. It is an amazing journey. I am so glad I found out about it and decided to jump out of my comfort zone.

Definitely! It's always great to have a safe space to learn and practice :) Good luck on your journey πŸš—πŸŽ€

 

Language-wise, I'd like to continue learning the following languages.

  • Swift
  • Elixir
  • Crystal
  • Javascript
  • ReasonML

I'm also reading Practical Vim at the moment to level up in Vim skills, this book is full of incredible tips.

Outside of the world of tech I've started making dice recently which is fun. I'm interested in trying out wood carving and wood work too, but I haven't got around to that yet!

 

What kind of studying do you do for Swift? I've been diving into SpriteKit for a few years and I've learned a lot of the language's features along the way. Now that SwiftUI has made a big splash I've been looking for ways to learn that too.

 

For SwiftUI I recommend SwiftUI by Tutorials, I've also read SwiftUI by Example by Paul Hudson.

For general Swift stuff, all of the Hacking with Swift books are great, NSScreencasts, and also check out the exercism.io Swift track.

 

I'm working alot with Jenkins pipeline development so that's ongoing. I plan to study Java TDD practices as my work applications have some excessive testing strategies that I believe could do with a good strategy for refactoring.

 

Sounds like a good plan. Do you have a formal process at your workplace to document what you're doing?

 

Not for this. I have another official plan for internal assessments that work toward my promotions.

 

I have spent the early part of this year FINALLY learning how to touch type and wow what a difference that makes.
I am working on building out my blog which sure has been a really reliable motivator to keep me moving forward.

I started blogging in December and have written 25 articles so far. In addition to that I have some other in between goals to finally create a game and publish it, and write an android app amount other things.

I would like to have 150 articles published within my first 2 years of blogging and then hopefully that leads me logically into writing a book.

Also I am looking for a new career opportunity if anyone happens to know of anything :)

 

My whole focus this year is a11y stuff.
I've founded a guild at work, signed up to do a workshop, am working my way through courses, and have started blogging about it.

In my opinion, teaching others about a topic is the best motivation/way to learn a topic deeply! :D

 

I've been thinking about this a lot recently; at a high level, it falls into a few groups; communication, development and technical.

For communication, I'd say 50% of my job is communication and I've definitely room to improve here.
My plan here is to make and take more opportunities to speak at events, engage more in the communities I'm part of both online and in-person and go out of my way to put myself in situations were I have to engage with groups of people to explain an idea.

Development is both my personal development, getting into a habit of setting shorter goals aimed at goals in a 3-5 month space and its also helping others earlier in their career make the initial steps from 0 -1 that I've made only a few years ago.

Lastly, technical - pretty straightforward I guess, I want to improve my technical skills, going to target some of my personal projects towards stacks and areas I'm interested in learning, as well as setting some goals to read some famous technical tombs I've tried to avoid up to now! on the books, probably will start here actually!

 

Letting it show me what is wants, I see how many things are connected. My background is in niche fragrance and cosmetics. I have honestly no longer thinking I will be able to move into tech. So I will keep learning and apply what I'm learning with-in the industry I am currently in.

 

I am continuing to ramp up my Data Engineering skills, building a deep expertise in the kedro framework, and how it operates on Aws.

As my team is growing and I have become "senior" I am learning how to teach as well. I have always had the heart of a teacher and would take a look at anything that came to my desk, but this is slowly becoming more and more a part of my daily life.

 

Share with community and spread this idea of Devasmus - Developer's Erasmus in my local community in Zagreb, Croatia. I found a couple of same-minded individuals in several different top companies in our area and we would like to organise this developer exchange to break the routine of "reinventing the wheel" in companies.

So, basically, spread as much knowledge as possible through meetups, education exchanges, project colabs, etc.

I am just happy enough that my company also supports this idea, so it is not only personal plan, but a company strategy also. :)

 

I am working as a full-time Software Developer, and self-studying about AI and Machine Learning.
Also trying to maintain my technical blogging :-)

 

How do you make it work? I've found that if I commit to the blog that the learning takes a backseat.

 

That's true. Right now I am more commited to learning than the blog.. But this changes with time of course!

 

I'd like to try some new things like Golang and Flutter (maybe play a bit with Python or Kotlin). However, I will be keeping up to date with React and Gatsby.

 
 
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