Before I get started on another year...

I wanted to write some things down so I can clear my mind and, hopefully, approach 2007 with a different perspective.  These aren’t New Years resolutions.  These are career oriented and hopefully this career will go beyond the end of 2007.  Also, this is a living document.

I will set aside time to review code that I wrote in past years

I’m hoping that this will help me in a number of areas.  The first would be to allow me to grow technically and critically reviewing code is a great way of doing this.  Reviewing my own code doesn’t allow for the easy out of “…it’s bad code by bad programmers…”  If I feel like saying this, I know who to go and bitch at for writing the crap code to begin with.

The second thing that I really want to get out of these reviews is a sense of humility.  Hopefully I have grown as a programmer since writing the code I’m reviewing.  Hopefully that growth is obvious to me.  Hopefully I realize that I was not, still am not, and most likely never will be the superior coder.  Hopefully this gives me more patience with the devs that I’m working with.  Hopefully it pushes me to continue to grow as a developer.

I will work to provide a positive career experience for myself

Like everyone I want to enjoy my career and my work.  I’m lucky to enjoy my career already, but I need to put effort into ensuring that I enjoy the work I’m doing in my career.  I don’t want to be a bitter, sour or caustic person at my job.  I’ve been there enough and I don’t need to be there again.  As a contractor in our current market, I have the ability to put myself into situations where this isn’t the modus operandi.

I will make sure that I take the time to enjoy life

People often say they don’t live to work, the work to live.  I’m not a big fan of either of those two options.  I work.  I live.  I must make sure that there is a clear designation between the two, and that one does not interfere with the other.  I can’t be going out to the pub and hindering my work performance the following day.  I can’t be going out to the pub and letting the conversation solely revolve around work.

My life away from work needs to have time dedicated to it.  I must curtail some of my technical and professional pursuits in order to grow my life away from work.  I have to plan pleasure time in advance.  I can’t just be taking time at the last minute because “it fits now”.  I can’t let work schedules or a feeling of indispensability stop me from taking time for pleasurable pursuits.  Too often I have pushed off time away from work because of an incorrect feeling that the work world would be severely hampered if I wasn’t there.  I can’t let this happen any more.

I will work on a comprehensive training plan

As a contractor it is up to me to ensure that my skillset does not become stagnant and/or out of date.  I must set aside time and money to prevent this from happening.  I also need to make sure that my employers understand that this is non-negotiable.  It’s my responsibility to stop my current work demands from preventing me from having marketable skills when I’ve completed my current work.


It’s not a big list, nor is it a comprehensive list.  Regardless, it’s a good start to a philosophy for my contracting/consulting career.