2015 was a wild ride. I took a new job as a Rails Developer with Commerce Kitchen, and became a father for the first time. Looking back on the goals I set for 2015, while they may have been appropriate at the time, they became out-of-date the moment I took the new job, and unattainable the day my little man was born. Hitting yearly goals has been hard in years past too, but my excuses are more pronounced this year. Part of 2016 will be to evaluate what yearly goals mean to me, and how to set more realistic and beneficial goals. Regardless, here are the goals I set for 2015:
In 2015, I set out to write a blog post per week, and ended up writing 8 posts (plus 1 for Commerce Kitchen). One of the side effects of changing jobs has been that my own EnlightenedPixel has dropped in importance. In years past, EnlightenedPixel, both the blog and the consulting company, served as a much needed way to stay involved at the forefront of web development. A need that working at my previous job did not fulfill. Working at Commerce Kitchen more than fulfills that need - I'm smack in the middle of fast-paced Ruby on Rails development, every single day.
However, I should still be writing. It's hard to find those hours with a 7-month-old, but it's important, and I need to find time to write.
The original goal was to further my own products, which did not do. However, I can safely say that I met this goal. Working on three different products for three different companies has been an incredible learning experience.
My Rails knowledge is light years ahead of where it was this time last year, and is still growing. It's amazing how much you can learn working with a technology all day, every day.
On the flip side, my Ember knowledge has taken a dive. Though I presented at our local Ember meetup again in at the beginning of the year, I have not written a line of Ember since. Ember has not made it into our preferred list of tools at Commerce Kitchen (yet?), and I have not had the time to keep up with it on my own. Furthermore, having a 7 month old makes it hard to attend meetups, so my connection with the local Ember community has been limited.
It's hard to plan a year's worth of goals. As someone who works on an agile team, I know that better than ever. I'll give thought to better goal setting for 2016. If I take anything from 2015, it's that my skills as a developer, both in terms of technical ability, and the personal side of leading a team, have improved more than in any other year in my career. I'm proud of that, it's a huge success. I missed a lot of predefined targets, but that's okay. I'll look back on 2015 as a point in time where my career took a leap forward in terms of available opportunities.
Written by Alex Brinkman who lives and works in Denver, but plays in the mountains.