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What Scares Me Most

What Scares Me Most

What scares me most in my professional live and in my personal development is, to receive negative feedback for things I'm passioned and love doing. It's funny, but that's a thing which always scared me, from school up till today. But why? I think it's the circumstance, that someone may have "paid" for the things you're talking about or delivering. As soon someone has invested their time and/or money, they have automatically high expectations and I hate to disappoint people. But on the other hand, we probably have to be honest and confess that making everyone happy is only possible in an unicorn land.

This year I've reached a point in my life were I no longer need to appeal to someone - I've put that pressure long enough upon me. I no longer have to compete with someone else (unless I like to). That merely means: I don't have to do things because others are believing, doing or saying so. I don't have to do things which I'm not interested in, just to be liked. I don't have to accept a job, assignment anymore just to have a job - I did that several times in the past. A lot of times I was drooling over positive feedback and recognition from others. Of course it's charming and also important to get some nice feedback for the things you're investing your precious time. But what I value even more is to get some individual, honest, constructive, direct feedback for improvement, because I think there is always room for doing so.

Received feedback this year
This year I received on every conference talk I did some negative feedback. What scares me the most on this is, that I unfortunately never received a deep enough verbal or written feedback upon it. No single feedback which let me do some changes, rework, bug fixes on my talks. Did we tester loose the ability to give reasonable feedback to someone? Just we testers should actually now how to give feedback right? Maybe it's also the conference organiser which could do better to make/push this to happened? Or maybe it's the speaker who should plan ahead and give in particular this possibility at the end of a talk?

Nevertheless, I like sharing stuff with the community and maybe one day I'll receive some feedback which is a testers worth ;)

Looking for feedback: my challenges for 2019
For next year I've got a few new challenges in the queue, which hopefully will generate some feedback:

  • Doing my first coding workshop (all alone)
  • Doing my first conference talk with some live coding
  • Finishing a certification which I've started years ago

All this should help me to gain more confidence in coding for the things I'm requested to do by my customers and of course to learn a lot of new exciting things. But wait a second, first I've to be accepted to speak at a conference, right? No way, there are also so called unconferences where everyone is invited to propose a topic, no matter how fancy or not the topic looks like.
So my first conference I'll attend and contribute to next year is SoCraTes Switzerland. Which is a perfect opportunity for me to get the critical eyes of developers as first reviewers on my coding experiments! I'm so excited and very much looking forward to this!

There are other topics in the queue which just wait to be unleashed and touched in more depth:

  • Software development design principles (DRY, KISS, SOLID, etc.)
  • Software development design patterns (Factory, Composite, Decorator, etc.)
  • Software architecture in general
  • Have a look at the adventofcode
  • Do some coding katas

Finding the balance
Finding the right balance between a professional life and a private life isn't easy, especially when you're passioned about all the things your job and the software community has to offer and you want to swallow everything at once whenever possible. I often find myself in the situation where I see a lot of people out there hopping from one conference and event to another and sharing their knowledge. Then I ask myself: do they have more time than I have? Don't they also have to work at some point? Don't they have a private life? Then I recognise, no, that's not my way to go, I couldn't handle meeting that many new people at once and I also love doing other things in my spare time which have higher priority.

My challenge for next year is: extending my technical toolbox by #LearnToCode and sharing and teaching freshly gained knowledge with and to others!

One more thing #1
But how do I measure any success and #achievement from all of this?

As feedback is inevitable for measurement and fundamentally needed to do any further improvements, I'll actively call out for getting feedback during each talk/workshop I'll do next year. The first two people who give me an in depth, honest verbal or written feedback (until the end of a conference) will receive a surprise! So better watch out before you miss an outstanding opportunity ;) All others will receive a smile and a nice discussion.

Looks like that I'll use a bait for getting feedback, right? Yes it is, but I tell you, a bait which is worth it to provide feedback for ;)

One more thing #2
If you have any feedback for the people you care about, please let them know! Take care, have a wonderful advent season and a happy new year!