Professional-related goals

August 24th, 2015

Recently, I realized that every time I make goals for the year, they relate to my health (like exercise more) or to my hobbies (like play 30 games in a year). I don’t typically make goals that better the professional side of my life, which doesn’t really make sense. That’s an area I work on improving too! Even though more than half of the year has gone by, I still wanted to set some goals relating to being a team lead, software developer, and photographer to accomplish before the year ends. Better late than never, right?

Finish a personal Ember project

A couple years ago when my work was deciding on a Javascript framework to use, we went with Backbone and Marionette. I became familiar with them after completing 2 Backbone projects, but then part-way through, we changed our mind and switched to Ember. My projects were already complete in Backbone, so it didn’t make sense to rewrite them.

When I went to a Javascript conference recently, I felt behind the times in my little world of Backbone. Everyone around me was talking about Ember or Angular or React! I was disappointed in myself for not trying any of them yet. I went home feeling inspired and set up my very first Ember project… and then Anime convention season came around, and I’ve been busy with cosplay stuff. I’m hoping that after the next con, I can get back to that Ember project (which is a secret for now), and perhaps try the other two. One thing at a time though! Ember first!

Make code reviews a regular thing

Normally I try to take a little time to look over what developers on my team have written before the feature goes out. Because I’ve been busier lately, I’ve been doing less of it or doing them too quickly. Code reviews are important, and one of the best ways to help developers improve. I need to make time for them. They should be regular and more in depth than what I’ve been doing.

Not only that, but if I’m going to code review my team more often, I should be open to it as well. This is also a goal for myself to ask others to review my code.

Finish these books and then get more


Eloquent Ruby has been on my to-read list for a long time as something to help myself as a developer. I’ve been using Ruby for many years, but there is much more to programming than just knowing the language. There’s more I can do to improve my coding style, the way I approach problems, and how I implement things.

I bought Learning Agile and User Stories Applied recently but for the leadership part of my job. I’ve been a team lead for many years, mainly as a tech lead. We have a product manager who plans and prioritizes what we work on, and I oversee the technical part of getting them coded and released.

Lately, I’ve been given more responsibility and may be on the path to something more in my career. I bought those books to give me ideas on how to handle the projects on my team. We’re already Agile, but we don’t follow a specific methodology. I’m not sure if any of them are a fit for us, but I do think it’s useful to learn them and be open to other ways of doing things.

Create a photography portfolio

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and I even have the domain for it already! I haven’t been motivated because well… I haven’t really needed it. People request my photoshoot spots months in advance, and when I’m not doing cosplay photography, I’m doing my own or event photography for my work.

However, I still want to have a photography site! It’ll be nice to have a site I can point people to instead of my Flickr, and I’ve been holding off on photography business cards until the site goes up.

Join another stock photography site

Earlier this year, I decided to try selling stock photography and researched sites I could join. Flickr must have read my mind because right around then, I was noticed by the curators and received an invitation to Flickr marketplace.

Well, I gave it a try and… the Flickr program needs work. There’s no submission process because a curator picks out your photos and then asks for your approval, and I feel kind of in the dark on what’s happening to my photos. (These are the ones they curated.) I’m going to stay in the program, but I am looking for another stock site I can join too.

I only have a few months left in the year, but I kind of think the shorter time frame is a good thing. These are things I should really do sooner than later! Do you guys set any goals for yourself that relate to the work you do?

13 Responses to “Professional-related goals”

  • ariane says:

    hello! goodluck on your plans, i know you can do it! :) I’ve seen some of your photos and they’re really good! :>

  • Raisa says:

    Good luck with your goals! <3 I started writing a Rails app last year that I said I was gonna finish this year. That did not happen. :'D I'm really close though!

    I also wanted to dabble in Express.js, which also did not happen. I need to make time for code tinkering again. :( Can't stay too comfortable!

  • Nancy says:

    Cat, you’re so legit with your developer skillz *statement with trailing in rainbows*

    It’s never too late to create goals, and they can last as long as you please. 365’s can even happen starting in the middle of the year! Good luck with your professional goals. It’s always good to better yourself whether it’s through hobbies or any down time ;). Code reviews are definitely important! That way, maybe some vulnerabilities can be caught early on and not allow a port to be opened ~for some intrusion~.

    I somehow thought you already have a portfolio for your photography ;o. Hopefully you’ll be able to sell some stocks ;).

    At the most, I have some professional goals; except I have been procrastinating big time on reading my security book. Good luck!

  • Jhanz says:

    Good luck with your goals, Cat! :) I also want to try stock photography, but I think I still need to practice more for it to happen. Hehe! :)

  • Tara says:

    Good luck with these goals, Cat! I especially would love to your a professional photography site from you! I think it’s good to have personal and professional goals :) Right now, I’ve been working on expanding my own career and one of my goals is to get read to teach my first college class (eeek!) provided that everything falls through right. I’m also trying to organise my own work portfolio in a binder, but that’s been slow-going so I hope to get that done soon . . . oh, and I need to revamp my resume X_X; And work on my food website. Oi. I’ve got too many goals to focus on now LOL.

  • Pauline says:

    After reading this post, I’ve looked at my own goals and feel so inspired to make them happen! Good luck with your goals, by the sound of it, they’re already on their way of taking shape. I want to get into photography myself but I have shaky hands when I take a picture! (;_;) Definitely need more practise!

  • Rachel says:

    I have kind of wishy-washy work goals involving learning Python and getting through the data visualization books my boss ordered for me, but I have yet to commit to doing them. I wrote a quick script in Python a couple months ago to do some string manipulation for work, but I haven’t done anything with the language since and don’t even remember any of the syntax I learned. Oops. Luckily the current projects are slowing down and I should have some time to get to work on those goals.

  • Michelle says:

    Good luck with your goals, girl! ^^ I can’t wait to see how your portfolio comes out.

  • Chynna says:

    Good luck with your plans! I have a bunch of things I’d love to get done in my professional career. I want to be an author, so I really need to get working on my portfolio, get my ass into gear and write my book~, and just write/read more in general. Kind of stuck in a rut, though, which kind of sucks – your post has motivated me!

  • Georgie says:

    It seems that React is all the rage these days but there is a handful of people who have argued that you should just find the right framework for the job – just implying that React may not be what you’re after. I’m not too familiar with any frameworks except Angular but I did see a lot of people joke that that a new framework comes out every day anyway. xD

    It’s awesome that you are focusing more on being better in your role at work and professionally overall. :) I think code reviews are so important, and I know we all hate doing them sometimes but you can teach your colleagues a thing or two, or they can too – everyone learns from everyone.

    The past couple of places I have worked, we worked in agile/scrum. I was scrum master for a short time! :P At first I didn’t like the idea of having to do reports all the time but I grew to realise it was a nice way to organise things, improve the team, and I tried to make meetings fun if I possibly could.

    I used to use Flickr but I didn’t quite like the community idea, I guess it just wasn’t for me. I just wanted to post my photos on my website. In a similar way, I started a photography portfolio but then I stopped updating it. I want to get mine up to date too. :)

  • Uglyfish says:

    Good luck with all of your goal, particularly the Ember project, it sounds very exciting. It sounds like you’re really pushing yourself in work, which is great! I think it shows what a passion you have for the job you do, it’s great! Code reviews sound like they’d be tough, but as you say they’d be very reward and necessary. The photos Flickr picked out are wonderful, you have such an artistic eye. It’s a shame they don’t really keep you involved with how your photos are getting used, hopefully other sites you find will be more inclusive.
    In regards to my work goals, I’d like to attend more craft classes so I can make better props, and I have a few books to read!

  • Kya says:

    I hope that you can work on the Ember project. I am not 100% sure what it is, so I will have to do some investigating. :D

    I hope you have more time to look over the code and review it. It would be hard when you get really busy.

    Good luck reading the books. I am sure that when you find the time that you will be able to gain some good knowledge from them.

    You NEEEEEEED to have you photography portfolio online. :D If you have the domain, that is great. I might throw an idea your way, but it might not be for you. I have my ‘portfolio’ online via Tumblr, so uploading things is easy, and can be shared quickly. I use a custom domain on it, so everything works without any drama.

    Good luck finding a site that you can sell your photography on. I have used the stock sites istockphoto and shutter stock in the past. I mainly use Creative Market and Envato now.

  • Shar says:

    That’s great that you have very smart goals. I appreciate people who set goals that help round up the edges of their craft and their passions. Unfortunately I am still trying to figure out what my crafts are.

    I do want to get further into photography but I find I don’t have as much time as I thought I would to really get hip deep into it. I am starting to make a list of things that I love to do and what I want to keep doing for many many years to come and set goals then. I’m more in a “find myself” stage at the moment so I find it wouldn’t be fair to set goals for myself yet but man … I would LOVE to be where you are someday!

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