It was just over 6 months ago when I wrote my first functional ruby program. Sure, it was a simple question/response program, but I was exhilarated with what I created. Fast forward to now and I’m proud to be employed as a full-time software developer at a company I love working at.
The journey to reach this point was no cake walk, but by setting short term target specific goals I was able to persevere without being bogged down from the pressure of reaching my main goal; landing a software developer position.
Since this is my first January 1st as a developer, I wanted to set a few goals for myself to accomplish throughout the year. To some, if not most of you, this list may already be part of your routine, if not then you’re welcome you to recycle some of these aspirations as part of your own for 2015.
Attend more networking events
During the first 3 months of coding I was pretty active when it came to showing up to events within the programming community. Then a month after graduating my bootcamp and landing a job, I stopped going to events. To put it simply…I got lazy.
In 2015 I want to attend at least two meet ups a month. Boston has a great Ruby community, The Boston Ruby Group, and using Meetup.com to find an event that fits your schedule makes it that much more convenient.
Participate in a hackathon
Looking back over the past 6 months I can recall multiple instances where impostor syndrome got the best of me. I can now laugh at most of the things that cut my confidence in half, realizing how ridiculous my concerns and doubts once were.
The thought of participating in a hackathon where experienced developers are depending on my rookie code is slightly intimidating. Being a competitive person myself, I can understand why a more senior hack team would *sigh* to have me on their team. However, I’m hoping to surprise myself along with my future teams and rise to the occasion.
Work on more passion projects
The last three weeks of my bootcamp I dedicated 8 hours a day on my passion project. The same feeling of accomplishment from the simple Ruby program came back those last few weeks. To me, taking an idea and turning it into a functional program still seems like magic, but now I’m the magician.
Right now, I have two passion projects I want to work on. I’ve procrastinated far too long on potential projects that those past ideas have faded into nothing. This year my goal is to start working on a project as soon an idea comes to mind and devote more of my free time to progress them.
Take a codecation
One of my mentors; Ben Orenstein wrote a post about why a developer should consider taking a codecation. For the lazy… A codecation is a time where you travel with a couple code buddies and spend a majority of time coding on a collective passion project.
This concept of working on vacation seemed a little weird to me at first, but after some consideration, I realized it’s a great opportunity to learn and work collectively with familiar faces.
If you have a couple goals you wish to accomplish over the course of the year I encourage you to try writing them down or creating a similar blog post. For those of you like me who make a bunch of new years resolutions at the start of the year, only to last a month before falling back on to old habits, let your blog post be your training partner who is there to motivate you when you feel like giving up.
To all of you who read this far down… Happy New Year and make 2015 your best year yet!