It’s my most favorite of seasons here at my job: annual review time. For better or worse, I love finding out just how much I accomplished over the course of a year. And not just your project portfolio; other fun events or solutions to things like “remember when the data center lost power?” and “hey remember when you volunteered to wear camouflage paint and hide in the woods to test the new video conferencing equipment?” are fun things to remember. It’s also a time to grow: maybe you missed a deadline, didn’t complete a project, or you crashed a weather balloon into some power lines. Either way, it’s all about the feedback. It’s a gift, and you should take it as a very good one.
For my review though, my boss likes to include that I spend a lot of my free time working within technical communities, both locally, nationally (and sometimes internationally), and online. I can usually rattle off what I was a part of for the previous year, but he asked me a question that I didn’t have an answer to though: “Since you’ve started doing this, how many things have you done, total?” That threw me.
So I went back and started looking things up. I reviewed slides, web sites, event pages, and even sent some emails to people asking for some more info. I started to compile all the information, and I was sort of surprised of just how much there was. That isn’t meant to be a boast; I just didn’t realize how quickly these things can add up. I do like to put out a monthly blog post talking about what I’ll be doing for a given month, but this is different. So taking the advice of some pretty sage people, I decided to start compiling the list. While I could just list these things out in a table, I wanted something a little different. So I went with a timeline, of sorts. You can view it here.
I’m really happy with how this turned out. While there isn’t a filter (yet) I like that I can tag milestones with different colors or icons to show off different categories of things, like speaking or open source contributions. I can also put future events out there too, if I want. Go ahead and give it a look, and I’d love your feedback. If you’re involved in any kind of community and you’re spending time on things, it makes sense to keep track, and I encourage you to do the same!