A Software Developer’s New Years Resolutions
We did it! We made it to 2021! A brand new year filled with potential and hope. About this time last year, I had decided to do a career switch and join the world of software development. The past year was spent working hard, learning, and meeting new people. I am very excited to continue this journey. The start of the new year allows for some time for reflection and realigning our goals. My goals, going into the new year, are very simple: I would like to continue to learn and grow as a software developer, and I hope to soon start my professional career as a software engineer.
To be successful and to make the most of the upcoming year, I need a plan. So I have decided to create the following list, my software development new year resolutions for 2021. Creating this plan was helpful as it was good to re-focus my journey and keep me motivated. Each resolution below is an aspect that I believe I could invest more in. This is not a list of everything I will be doing in terms of growing my skills as a software developer. I regularly develop personal coding projects, keep up my git commits, and write weekly blogs. However, these are areas that may require a bit more attention on my part.
Now I've made new years resolutions before. I will eat healthier. I will read more books. I will spend more time with my family. Sometimes I keep them, sometimes I forget by the time February comes along. To make these goals a bit more tangible I will include criteria for success. This will make it more of a checklist for the year than simply things I wish would happen. If you know me, you know I LOVE crossing things off a checklist.
My 7 Resolutions for 2021
1. Grow New Skills (In a Focused Manner)
Ok, obviously I need to keep learning since I'm still new to this field. Here's the problem though, every time I hear about a technology I don't know, I rush to learn it. I now need to focus on depth over breadth. There is so much technology out there and I cant learn it all! I am embarrassed to show the number of Udemy courses I have lined up. Experienced developers may know a few technologies but they know them well. This year I want to focus more on ASP.Net and learn some testing frameworks to start.
- Focus Learning on Technologies I Already Know
- Do Not Start a New Course Before Completing the Last One
2. Foster New Relationships (While Strengthening Existing Ones)
Networking allows you to engage in the field by meeting people. I am grateful for all the relationships I built last year and look forward to more. However, this year I want to create an emphasis on reconnecting. We all have a list of people we have been meaning to catch up with and yet never do. Now is the time. I look forward to reaching out to previous colleagues, friends, and more that I haven’t seen in a while. Especially during these pandemic times when human connections are more important than ever.
- Re-Connect With At Least One Old Contact A Month
- Maintain New Relations With Continued Enthusiasm
3. Read (And Read More)
Reading is such a simple task and yet I definitely don't do it as much as I should. I write these medium blogs very regularly but how many blogs do I read? Not enough. In the field of software development, things are always changing. Updates everywhere! By committing to reading more tech blogs, recent articles, and more I can stay more up to date. I would also like to start reading some books on the topic as well. Ok, that's a bit scary, a whole book… but I can do it!
- Read One Medium Blog a Day
- Subscribe to Tech Newsletters
- Compile and Finish a Reading List for the Year
4. Participate in Sharing Knowledge
The strong culture of sharing knowledge is something I admire most about the field. However, I cant simply benefit from it, I must also give back. This year I will make an effort to participate. I google my software questions all the time, now I will also answer some. This can be done on StackOverflow, blogs, LeetCode, and so many more! I can also participate in sharing by engaging actively on social media such as Linkedin. I can share what I've learned with my network and help someone else out by liking or sharing their posts.
- Answer Questions on Stackoverflow, Leetcode, etc.
- Help Out People In My Network By Engaging In Posts
5. Focus on “Why” and “How” to Code
Having done a boot camp and not a full CS degree, there are some gaps. The boot camp taught us to code, but what is lacking, is the ‘why” and the “how”. These can be design patterns, solid principles, and software architecture paradigms. I have been teaching myself the above but I will dedicate time regularly to learn computer science concepts. Another “why” to consider, is understanding the business impact. Developers should understand the big picture and why the company is building the app in the first place.
- Take Time Weekly to Study the Basics of Computer Science
- Focus on the Business Implications of My Code
6. Contribute to Open Source/ Volunteer More
While learning to be a successful software developer, I would like to give back to the community. Kill two birds with one stone. Make my learning useful to others. This can be done by contributing to open source projects and volunteering my skills at hackathons or to organizations that could use the help. It will allow me to showcase real-world applications and practice my skills while also devoting time to the community.
- Actively Participate In At Least One Open-Source Project All Year
- Attend 2–3 Hackathons to Volunteer My Time
7. Be Positive and Be Kind
The only way to succeed, in any field, is to be positive and to be kind to oneself. Though this resolution is not entirely based on software, by ensuring my wellbeing, my professional life will benefit. After all, a career switch and job searching are stressful as well as exciting. I resolve to be considerate and focus on myself when needed.
- Start a New Hobby
- Maintain my Mental and Physical Health