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Open to Criticism

February 10, 2009

I remember my first “performance review” of my professional career and being very excited for it. I was excited for two reasons:

  1. Chance to improve.
  2. The raise associated withe the review.

The review did give my a chance to reflect upon myself and the work I was doing, but it also gives me a chance to see how other people see me and what they think my weaknesses are. However I did not receive much criticism or ways to improve.

The review was mostly what I was doing well which is helpful, but not as much as learning your weaknesses. I was looking forward to finding out what areas I needed to improve on and finding ways to enhance those areas.

During the review I explained what I thought my weaknesses were (and still are) and how I plan on improving them. I also briefly mentioned my own and my manager’s strengths (I believe my manager enjoyed hearing what he did well or at least I hope so).

Below are what I see as my current weaknesses.

  1. Average programmer. This is strictly coding related. I do not understand the under lying principles as much as I should and I rely to much on previous constructed examples.
  2. Communicating a specific point. Explaining exactly what I mean can be very difficult at times.
  3. Memory. I forget stuff.
  4. My “strengths”. Even my “strengths” need constant improvement.

There is always room for improvement and at times you need others to point out areas that need work. It seems that I always focus on my weaknesses and not my strengths and that can be a double edged sword.

Of course having the ability to notice and communicate areas of improvement to someone without coming off condescending or like a jerk. This is a useful ability for managers to learn and enhance. Having this ability will allow the manager to strengthen the weakness of individuals, which will in turn help build a stronger team.

I am open to criticism in all things. This blog, my career, and my life. I encourage everyone who reads my blogs (even once, all two or three of you) to tell me when you see an area of improvement.

Throughout my career and life I hope I will always be hunger for more knowledge and improving myself to become a better developer, husband, father, friend, family member, and human being.

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