Recap: Professional-related goals

January 8th, 2016

Back in August, I wrote a blog entry about my professional-related goals. I made them because I realized I always made personal and hobby-related goals but none that focused on the professional side of my life. Moving forward, I’m going to continue adding these type of goals. Now that 2015 is over, let’s see how I did and what I am aiming for in 2016!

2015 Goals

Failed: Finish a personal Ember project
Unfortunately, I still haven’t done much work on my Ember project. Actually… zero work since I posted that blog entry :(

Success: Make code reviews a regular thing
I actually went above and beyond on this one. Code reviews on my team are now mandatory, and my testers will not test anything that has not passed code review yet. Because they weren’t a regular thing before, it was a bit rough to get this practice in place and caused release delays at first. It was all worth it though, and my team actually loves it. They feel like they’re learning a lot and having a second pair of eyes on things makes them feel better about what their work!

Success: Finish work-related books and then get more
My plans changed a bit after I posted this goal, but I still consider it a success. I finished Learning Agile and even applied many Agile practices to my team. I ended up lending User Stories Applied to a coworker who actually wrote our user stories, and I’m still reading Eloquent Ruby.

I also finished Crucial Conversations, which wasn’t originally in the goal. My boss suggested books to help me manage people and deal with tough conversations. I thought the book was really useful and not just for work too; even personal situations can be a crucial conversation. I’m now looking into buying a few more books related to management and Agile practices.

Success: Create a photography portfolio
I cut it a bit close and finished on New Years Eve! Please check it out: Cat Chu Photography. When .photography TLDs became available, I made sure to grab one and now I’ve finally done something with it :) The part that took me the longest was deciding on an album organization and choosing which photos to upload.


Failed: Join another stock photography site
I actually held back on this until I had a portfolio up. I want to join one more stock program, and I was trying to narrow it down from three choices – one of which required a portfolio. I decided to focus on the portfolio first and then figure out the stock program later.

2016 Goals

Finish a personal Ember project
I’m carrying this over from 2015. I have the idea, and the project is set up already. I just need to work on it more! It’s time for me to step up my Javascript game and learn another framework, especially since part of my team works in Ember now.

Join another stock photography site
Another one that I’m carrying over from 2015. I’m already part of one program but because I’m not too happy with it, I want to try another one. I’m honestly not sure if my photography is a fit for stock photography, but I’ll never know if I don’t try, right? Hopefully I’ll find another stock program that will accept me XD;;

Publish another plugin/app
Last year, two coworkers and I registered for a LLC for plugin/app development work (Menagerie Development). We only have one on it right now that we created together, and I’d like to write one or two more. I already have a few ideas!

Update my photography gear
I currently own 2 DSLRs and 7 lenses. And well, I do not use all 7 lenses. I need to stop being a hoarder and sell the lenses I don’t use. I should also look at the ones I do use and see if I should upgrade any of them. (The newest Sigma 50/1.4 is mighty tempting.)

My lighting gear is another one that I’d like to focus on. I’ve been using the same set-up for a few years now, which is a speedlite with a flash umbrella. It has served me well, but I’m limiting myself if I don’t explore other options. My goal is to try at least one other lighting option, whether it’s a different type of flash or a different way to diffuse it.


This time I am giving myself a year to work on it, instead of 4 months like last time ;) Hopefully this will motivate me to make progress on all of them!

14 Responses to “Recap: Professional-related goals”

  • Michelle says:

    It’s okay to fail, as long as you keep going up! As you going to be in any more conventions this year? I’d love to do another photoshoot with you :D Also, I’m glad you gave yourself more time. There’s nothing worse than having a unrealistic deadline to do and not making it, you know? You know your limits and so work with them!

    Hope you’re having a great 2016, so far!

    • Cat says:

      I’ll know my plans as the convention dates get closer! Hopefully I’ll be able to go to San Japan and AnimeFest and we can do a photoshoot again :)

  • Becca says:

    I really enjoy reading your professional posts, because they give me a bit more insight into what you do! Congratulations again on moving into a management position! I think the coding reviews are a great idea! It gives you some more one on one time with your team and encourages continually learning!

    Crucial Conversations sounds really interesting -and beneficial. An emphasis in a course I just took was about dealing with tough and critical conversations and how to achieve your agenda in the conversation.

    Your portfolio is so pretty, Cat! I recognize a lot of these from your trips and again, they are stunning! <3

  • Tara says:

    Good luck with your professional goals, Cat! I think your photos are good enough to be stock photos, so I hope some other places will accept you.

    Congrats on getting your new photograph site up! And it’s perfect that you got the .photography TLD :D Very appropriate!

  • Nancy says:

    Congratulations on the success of your professional-related goals! Even though there were some failed goals, it’s not worth as much as the successes. It’s good that you made code review at work mandatory. Sometimes, people have an error in their code that another person can catch. It’s like proofreading an essay because our minds might trick us into thinking we wrote something when we didn’t XD. Good on you that you finished work-related books! I’m still on my first one X’D.

    It’s amazing that you opened a photography site! It makes sense because of all of your beautiful photo work ;).

    Good luck with your goals this year! Looking forward to seeing the new plugin/app your team will create!

  • Kya says:

    That is such a great idea to create professional related goals. I guess that also with blogging and a history of creating personal ones is that we grow up and things change in our life, especially when entering the workforce and having different things that take focus. Anyway, enough blabble. :P

    That is so awesome that your code review was done. It would certainly make things better in the long term! :D

    That’s great that the books were helpful and could actually be applied to the work environment!


    Good luck with the stock site. I am sure you will be approved in an instant. <3

    Mmm, your camera gear looks delicious. That would be great if you could sell and upgrade the lenses that you need too, so that you have the best options available for high quality. :D

    Good luck with completing the professional goals this year. I am sure you can do it. :D

  • Jenny Kim says:

    You got some really professional gear. It’s cool that you reach so many of your goals in 2015. It’s nice to see a female working in the programming industry. My husband is a coder as well, so I get to hear these kinds of things all the time.

  • Olivia says:

    So much gear!! *_* You reached a lot of amazing goals!! And I’m sure you’ll reach them again in 2016. Also love love looove your photography portfolio. Still in love with the pink sunset beach from Maui and the beautiful cosplay photos!

  • Georgie says:

    I used to have the Sigma 30mm/1.4 but on a crop-sensor. I loved it! I imagine the 50mm you are after will give you the same amazement. :D

    I haven’t touched anything with Ember, but it seems we might be using React for something soon… someone was telling me it was mostly JS-based so at least you would be learning pure JS while learning that. It’s the ‘new kid on the block’ though, so still not sure. I am hoping to learn more JavaScript-related stuff for my professional goals :D

    I’m sure you will find another stock photography site to join! I am not sure if you have heard of it but the one I have been visiting lately is :)

    • Cat says:

      I have the first version of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, and I love it too :D The newer version is supposed to be even better! I’m soooo tempted to get it.

      Thanks for the stock site link!

  • Kim says:

    Hey, it seems like you have had more successes than failures so kudos to you!!! hehe :) Good luck with the rest of your professional goals! I like that you included your failed goals for the next year. Clearly you are not going to give up! Haha I think we can all relate to how difficult it is to avoid the slippery slope of becoming a hoarder. “I never know when I’ll need it” comes to mind…even though deep deep down you know you don’t really need it :P Also, a hip hip hooray for your photography portfolio! It’s fun seeing your photos in your blogs; having a portfolio to showcase all of them is great!

  • Ongaku says:

    I will be interested to see what you end up getting for your lighting equipment. I keep eye balling those Diva Lights since I like to do little videos and such. Kind of pricey for my wallet right now though. I love your photography website! ♥

    Those books sounds interesting. I should probably make myself some goals but I’m really bad at doing that. I’m one of those live day by day people. I kind of wonder if it is because of my chronic illness. I try not to let it hold me back but it is so unpredictable.

    Good luck with all your goals in 2016!

  • Amy says:

    Wow, looks like you did really well with your professional goals. My main professional goal was to get a job relating to my degree and I did it somehow.

    Fitting all those goals into one year must be hard. Especially when they require so much work. Thousands books some no really interesting though. Good luck with your goals!

  • Christine says:

    To me it looks like you’ve had lots of things to celebrate and rejoice in! I love that you’re continuing to push yourself for this year, too. You are extremely motivating. :)

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