Continuous Improvement

Oct 17, 2014

It’s funny. I think a back to where I was when I was a total newb. There was so much I wasn’t good at. It was easy to spot weakness. Pick one weak point and improve. When I thought that was at a good point, pick another one. Repeat. Eventually, through the process of elimination, I got better.

It’s easy to lose this skill of noticing weakness and improving. Well, losing isn’t the right word. Ignore is more fitting. It’s easy to ignore your weaknesses, especially when you work alone.

The minute you join a team, those weaknesses are exposed with a total disregard as to whether you want to address them right now or not. You have to. The choice has been made. Level up.

Noticing Weaknesses and Building on it

At first, it just crushes your ego. It’s like being a newb all over again. It’s really easy to get down on yourself when you have done what you swore you would never do. You failed to keep up. You fell behind. But not all is lost. It’s actually pretty easy to get back on your feet.

Setting Some Measurable Goal Each Week

First, pick one thing your not very good at. Maybe it’s code reviews. Maybe it’s testing the right things. It could even be as simple as communicating better. Actually, if you suck at communicating, do that first.

Once you have this skill you want to level up, make it your goal for the next week. But it has to be measurable. You have to be able to look at this week and know that it’s better than it was last week.

It’s really all about shipping

For me, it’s all about shipping. If I am shipping more, I am leveling up somewhere. If it’s communication that I am working on, and I shipped more software this week than I did last week, I can look and see why. If communication was a big part of that, it will show.

Than I move on to the next thing. Get better every week.