Archive for the 'Work' Category

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.

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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.

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Changes in May

May 18th, 2015

I remember when I first started at my current job over 7 years ago, it was just a small start-up with 20-30 people. It was my first job out of college! I figured I was young and could take the risks of being in a start-up. If it failed, I’d find another one to try.

I didn’t realize that this company would grow to where it is today, and I feel I really lucked out with that. When we grew to about 80 people, we outgrew our first office. We moved to a brand new 2-story building that was much larger. At first, we only occupied the first floor, but we eventually took over the 2nd floor too. (This is the same office in my work day through photos entry.)

Now we’ve grown to over 400 people! That means moving yet again. Last week was our last week in our previous office. We moved about 3 miles away to a building that’s even larger and with more floors. We’re in the first two right now, but I have a feeling we’ll expand upwards soon.


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