2012 Retrospective

As all Agile methodologies teach us, the action of looking back and reviewing your progress is an essential part of improvement. As such, I’m going to try and run a simple retrospective for my 2012.

Review

Lets start by reviewing the last year on a timeline. As it’s such a long period I’ll stick with monthly increments and pick out notable events.

January: 
 – Discovered WebGL and my messing about got picked up by LearningWebGL.com

February: 
 – Nothing of note😦

March:
 – Attended first GDC Meet a Mentor event
 – Started planning the “Devs in the ‘ditch” events

April:
 – Organised a successful first “Devs in the ‘ditch” event
 – Organised the 7digital stand at the “Find your Ninja” event.
 – Attended GeekGirl Meetup in London

May:
 – Organised and helped man the 7digital stand at Silicon Milk Roundabout
 – Attended the Progressive.Net Tutorials

June:
 – Organised second “Devs in the ‘ditch” event

July: 
 – Became a STEM Ambassador

August:
 – Nothing of note😦

September:
 – Organised third “Devs in the ‘ditch” event
 – Stepped up to take over the ACCU Mentored Developers from Paul Grenyer and thereby co-opted into the Committee.
 – Kicked off an ACCU Mentored Devs book group on JavaScript: The Good Parts
 – Attended DDD10

October:
 – Organised and presented at the fourth “Devs in the ‘ditch” event.
 – Presented the same talk at ACCU London
 – Became the API Team Lead Developer

November:
 – Took part in a Year 9 Careers Speed Networking event as part of being a STEM Ambassador
 – Presented to undergraduates at the Middlesex University IT Careers Forum
 – Passed Grade 1 of Cello

December:
 – Presented at APIDays 2012 in Paris

Other Stuff:
 – Adopted a lovely Cat
 – Attended at least 18 events, and spoke at 3.
 – Attended 4 Weddings (one of which was a surprise)
 – Lost just over 10lbs in weight and no longer officially overweight
 – Visited Portugal, twice, and Paris.
 – Finished reading 5 books, and started at least twice as many.
 – Wrote 12 blog posts
 – Created 13 Github Repos

Good / Bad / Change

Now is the part where I reflect on the year, using items that I brought up in my review as an aid and write down what I felt went well, went badly and what I’d like to change going forward.

Good

– Finally started speaking at community events, I’d been wanting to do so for so long, but was afraid
– Attended many events and conferences
– Improved my overall health:)
– Began organising events and learned a lot from this
– Began putting myself forward as role model to younger people as part of the STEM Ambassador work

Bad

– Didn’t read or finish as many books as I’d have liked
– Didn’t really travel or visit many places
– Only wrote a few blog posts
– Didn’t finish any programming projects I started
– I wanted to have done more with WebGL
– I seem to have coasted through the first quarter of the year

Change

– Must commit to projects and finish them before starting new ones
– Must commit to finishing reading books that I start before starting new ones
– Try to read more books
– Blog more, it improves writing and communication skills
– Stop procrastinating!

Goals & Actions

Normally the team would vote on which topics they’d like to promote to goals and actions but as it’s just me I’ll pick three that I feel are the most important.

Goal: Make 2013 The Year of Reading
Action: Read and finish at least one book a month.  Preferably a technical book but any kind counts. I’ve put the GoodReads Challenge in my sidebar as a reminder.

Goal: Present and speak more.
Action: Volunteer for more events. I did three last year, I’ll aim to improve on that.  I’ve already put myself forward for an event with the London Continuous Delivery group in March

Goal: Visit a new country
Action: I’ll make a point this year to take holiday somewhere that I haven’t been before.  It doesn’t have to be far, just somewhere new to me.

Retrospective Close

I feel that this was indeed a useful exercise.  It took a couple hours to do and write up mostly because a year is a long time period and I wanted to go back through my calender and emails to ensure I picked up as many events as I could.

Looking back I can say that that I’ve both done a lot of things, but also not enough things.  I picked up new items such as speaking and becoming more involved in the ACCU, but I also let things slip such as blogging and reading.  It’s so easy to let things slip by you when they happen one day at a time.

I’m hoping that 2013 will continue along the trend that I started as there is so much that I want to see.  At the end of the year I will run another retrospective and compare it with the actions above, which should be interesting!

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