Recently at my job I was asked to come up with a vision of my next level up (I prefer to use level up as opposed to a raise or promotion because rewards are never guaranteed but change is, whether its up or down). I have to determine what things I need to do to get there and a plan to get those things done. Additionally, I must have a timeline and a description of success.
I’m still working on the list but have a pretty good idea of what success looks like.
At the moment I working with DotNet, Web API, React and a lot of in house modules and components. I’ve been working in this manner for the last year and a half or so.
Prior to this employer, I was working in a legacy Java application that had a lot of legacy third-party technologies like, older versions of Spring, iBatis, jQuery, etc. Oh.. this was a monolith application (again older practices).
That means that not only wasn’t I on the latest approaches to software development, I was also on a whole different stack.
While I did that I always did a decent job of practicing and learning the latest technologies, although I must admit that practice is different than performing on the job.
Over the past year, I have spent a log of time adapting and learning new technologies.
I have not gotten the depth of knowledge and skills that the seniors and lead on my team have. I only say this because, well… you can tell when others are more season in the stack because while you are trying to just make things work, they actually know the most optimal ways and dos and don’ts that come with experience.
So… while working on this list I realized that there is a long road ahead for me for the next year or so. At the moment I am working on creating a list of topics that I would really like to learn in depth. My list is likely a superset of what I will accomplish to learn and it’s OK to not learn everything on the list but if I can go deep on at least 50% of what I have come up with I think I can call that a success.
The key thing is to stay focused on the list that I am creating and see how deep I can go over the next 12 months.
There are many things that I want to learn outside of this list but I think that for now, I will need to focus on this list.
When my supervisor brought this plan to the table, it forced me to focus my efforts on what is vital to progression to the next level. Next level meaning the next level of growth for me not necessary next level in the organization.
What about you have you created your list for the next 12 months?
If you haven’t here is how I am approaching it.
- Figure out my role
- Figure out my strengths and weaknesses within the said role – Plural sight is excellent for many roles and tracks. For example, I am weakest in SQL and Data Modeling, per PluralSight’s assessment.
- From that Plurasigh tests figure out what classes or course I need to enroll in. Currently, I have many but like I said what I will accomplish will probably be a subset of all of this.
- Figure out realistically how much time I can dedicate to this endeavor. Realistically speaking I think I can dedicate between 5-10 hours per week to this (outside of work of course).
- As I go through each role or track retest with PluralSight to demonstrate the difference in knowledge gains. I can capture the results before and after from plural sight for many of my targeted topics.
- For things that can’t be tested do some write-ups or actual projects. I can do some deep dives.
All of this training will be the practice that I need to perform better at my job.
So… are you practicing at work or practicing outside of work and performing at work. It’s an interesting question and honestly, I think it’s a combination of both for most of us.