It's the end of August, which means we're well into the second half of 2020, and I still haven't formally set my 2H 2020 goals. My company likes us to set three goals - one centered around our work, one centered around professional development, and one centered around company culture. In the first half of 2020 I did decently with my work and professional development goals, but not so great with my culture goal. For 2H, I want to set goals that challenge me, but I still know are something I will achieve. I debated how to best set goals that would meet these criteria, and ultimately I think my goals for the second half of 2020 will challenge me to be a better developer and better teammate and set me up for success.
My first goal, which is related to my work, is to become a more well-rounded developer. For me, this means contributing to several codebases, not just the one that is my primary responsibility. I've written before about some of my work in our company's backend codebase, and while that's far from my favorite work, I want to contribute to that codebase at least twice in the second half of 2020 (and I've already done some work in that codebase this month, so I'm partway there). One area where I'm much more excited to contribute is our mobile app, which is something created by the team I'm currently on, and which I recently got set up to contribute to. Ever since (reluctantly) working on a React Native app in my coding bootcamp I've been interested in learning more about mobile development, and I'm hoping to contribute to our mobile app and learn more about React Native and native development over the coming months. I'm also hoping to contribute to areas of our codebase that don't directly relate to the work my team does in service of getting a better overall view of what our app does and what engineers on other teams do.
My second goal, in service of my professional development, is to become a more regular presenter at meetings. Public speaking has always been hard for me, but I've found that I do enjoy presenting my work and sharing my knowledge (in fact, my knowledge sharing was called out as a strength during my recent performance review). Over the next six months, I want to grow my comfort in public speaking by identifying areas where I might want to present my work or some new knowledge and deciding what, if anything, would be the appropriate venue in which to share that with my team. I know that I likely won't present every idea I have, but I'm hoping to present at least 3 different topics over the rest of the year.
My final goal is centered around company culture, and in particular our attempts to build a better feedback culture. My feedback goal for the first half of 2020 was to provide feedback to my manager at regular intervals - and that didn't really happen. I debated whether I wanted to set a feedback-related goal for the second half of the year, but ultimately, I know that I want to receive more feedback (specifically more positive feedback), and if I want my company and team culture to be one where giving feedback is normal, I need to be part of creating that culture - and that means giving more feedback. I haven't fully solidified what form my feedback goal will take, but I know that if I want to be part of a culture where I will receive feedback, then I need to be in the habit of giving feedback as well.
Setting goals can be hard for me, because I never know where the next few months will take me. But I think it's important for me to have ideas for what I want to accomplish and benchmarks for what those accomplishments will look like, and that's where setting goals helps me most. I don't know if I will reach my goals for the second half of 2020, but I know that I'm setting myself up for success and I have a good chance of getting there.