Start of the year I made a few goals for 2020 and a month in I am horribly failing at one; improving my ability to express my ideas to others. So this is what this post is, me trying to start my path of improvement and a means to help hold me accountable. When deciding my goals at the start of the year I focused on limiting scope (my initial list had 10+ goals 😬) and what is actually achievable but still requires consistency and effort on my end.
So here they are the Smort Goals of 2020:
I started Georgia Tech's Online MSCS in January 2018 and boy has time flown by. It has helped me find the domain of computer science that I'm truly fascinated by, make new friends (one who inspired my next goal), and advance my career in the last few years due to this program. However, going onto my third year it is time to finish up and reclaim some free time.
Plan: To achieve this I need to finish up 4 more courses. Which means complete 2 this semester and 1 in Summer and Fall semester. The major daunting task is passing Graduate Algorithms in Fall 😓 aiming to do some Summer prep to help achieve this.
Often times I find my mind racing and I have a hard time expressing my thoughts whether it be in conversation, documentation, or over slack. This goal was inspired by how many iterations it sometimes takes me to get across what I am thinking. I believe making improvements in this will greatly benefit my professional and personal life because you can never discount the importance of effective communication.
Plan: I am going to heavily lean on dev.to to improve in this area. I hope to write at least 1 post a month and as a nice added bonus this can help hold me accountable for my other goals, such as "actually learn go". Also, at work I am going to aim to improve my documentation skills no matter how hard Confluence tries to make formatting :glare:.
I often find myself switching languages almost monthly for my random side projects. For example I rewrote my coffeechamp.dev (taken down for now 😭) backend in three different languages over the span of two months... So for this year I decided I want to focus on one language this year and that is Go. The reason for this is we use it at work (albeit sparingly), tons of interesting OSS projects are Go, and it kinda reminds me of C which I have been enjoying in my OMSCS courses. I am hoping that if I focus on Go I will a) become competent at it and not just a jack of all trades and b) can stop worrying about learning a new language and focus more on concepts I am aiming to learn with my side projects (and maybe actually finish them more often...).
Plan: I am going to try and write some tool, project, or toy problem in Go every 2 months. Then hopefully write about it to hold myself accountable and achieve my "become better at expressing my ideas goal". I am also going to start opting to write utilities at work in Go and maybe even get some tasks thrown my way on the Go codebase at work. I am hoping that over the span of a year I will be able to reflect back on these projects and see noticeable improvement in my Go and software design.
Through middle school to the end of undergrad I was an avid runner. Since working full time and OMSCS I have drastically reduced my running, I maybe went on 20 runs last year. So this goal is pretty self explanatory; I need to run more 🏃. I notice when I cut running out of my life I become more prone to random health issues, energy levels sink, and anxiety runs rampant.
Plan: I am going to focus on running duration instead of distance. I am going to set goals in the Garmin companion app starting with 30 minutes of running a week with a goal of reaching 3 hours of running a week by December.
Now that I formally laid out my goals a month late it is time to get down to it!