Career Thinking

Both of the Java Posse Roundups I've been to, I've made some fairly big decisions about my career. Now, I didn't even really consider my career until fairly recently. I'd had some great jobs, a couple of not-so-great jobs, and I was finally working as a professional programmer. A couple of years ago though I started thinking about what I'd like to be doing as a programmer in the future, whether I'd want to be a manager at some point, all of that stuff. At the 2009 Roundup, I'd just been reading about managers and finally figuring out that all programmer managers aren't just wastes of space with the help of some people who had been good managers or had good managers. I realized there that I shouldn't just sit around and put up with the bad manager I had at the time, that it was time to move on and try to find a good manager who could actually help me grow. I got a couple of good job offers but for various reasons decided it would be worthwhile to stay put.

At the 2010 Roundup, I was once again faced with seeing people doing things with their career that I want to do. I want to be learning and growing as a programmer the way a lot of Roundup attendees are. I decided that once again I would reevaluate my job and try to figure out what the best thing would be. The difference is, this time I want to figure out what to do not to escape a bad situation but to go towards something good. I haven't decided what to do yet but I have refocused my efforts toward learning and getting better rather than just sitting comfortably.

I've always learned on the job and I've found I'm very good at that. The problem with that kind of learning is it tends to leave gaps in your knowledge since you don't learn as much that you don't need right then. I'm rectifying that with a renewed course of study in the areas I feel I'm missing. I'm also focusing on the quality of the work I do and the code I write even more. I don't work for a software company so I'm a little limited in the efforts I can put forth here but now that our boss has decided we're to run our own projects I'm definitely pushing more quality into my work and I'm prouder than I've ever been with my code.

Like I say, I haven't decided exactly what to do so this blog post doesn't have some big conclusion. My new focus is a big deal to me though so I wanted to write it here and not forget. More to come!