So yesterday I had a chat with my CTO regarding my appraisal.
It went great – I am more than happy with the discussion (and the result of the discussion as well).
There are a few people who I genuinely enjoy having conversations with, and he is one of those fellas!
Anyway, I have been thinking about a couple of things that we discussed (there is new/unique way of taking feedback in ucreate – more on this some other time) – and that included sharing some notes (anonymously) from different people who have given feedback for me.
- I am awesome
- I need to change
While most of the people (including myself) consider me as pretty awesome (and no, I am not letting that go into my head… but it feels pretty awesome to write “pretty awesome” about myself… 😀 ), there are suggestions for some changes as well (including from myself).
E.g. I talk a lot, and that (mostly/usually) causes the meetings to be stretched (I am trying to handle this in a much better way, but still needs to be manged better). Now that doesn’t mean I don’t make sense when I talk, but sometimes (well, most of the time) the core point is addressed either very early in the discussion (thus the person with whom I am talking feels that the call should have been over after first 5-10 mins) or the core points is addressed very late, and sometimes never(hovering over surrounding areas consumes all the time) – and when it is so, then the journey/path around other areas (the surrounding areas) is more important than the destination(which, philosophically speaking, is true most of the time).
In short – I talk a lot, that means I take a lot of time (of others), and that means that people feel that their time is being wasted, but there is a certain closure to the conversation as well.
So, should I “not talk a lot” and just “fix the issue/problem at hand”, thus avoid the “conversation” part for which I was (and still am) being considered a better “lead” (or the way I see it as – “a better human” or “a better conversationalist”), or should I “not change” and continue to do what I believe is better for me(and for those who I interact/converse with)?
If I change, then yes, I have considered other people’s opinions and suggestions and changed myself, but then it also makes me “not me” – and that’s something that will affect my conversations and I might stop getting “effective” in what I do.
On the other hand, if I do NOT change, then I will be discarding the feedback/suggestions that I have received and I will come out as “arrogant” or “rude” and then people might not want to give any suggestions in the future as well (knowing that I wouldn’t be changing anything and would ignore their inputs).
And this was ONE example, and may be for this particular case I could do some improvements that would allow me to function the way I do, and still be able to inculcate some of the inputs.
– I would be sharing Agenda and some sub-points before a meeting so that people would know what to expect, and probably a rough time-estimate of each topic (so that I do not over-indulge in a particular point)
– If there is something that I am already aware of (and I just need to communicate it), then I would be sharing document/notes and would share my expectation from the receiver to go through the notes/document and come up with confirmation of understanding and/or any questions or follow-ups for a particular topic/scenario
– Rather than being the “speaker” and “driver” of the meeting, I would want to “speak-last” (like a good leader, knowing/considering other’s opinions before I share mine) and thus allowing others to share more and do not worry about the time considering they would have shared their feedback for the issue/point/scenario already
There is obviously a clear solution to ONE specific problem/change.
There are some other things that have started to bother me as well – and that are “changes” as well – the stuff that keeps me anxious is more technical in nature. E.g. Learning TDD and Laravel (and the ecosystem around Laravel).
I have been good with CakePHP and I am still continuing to work in CakePHP only, for my pet/personal projects.
On occasion I have used/tried SlimPHP framework as well (very light-weight, totally love it).
In ucreate we use “only” Laravel (for PHP) and I sometimes worry if my lack of knowledge(almost zero understanding of Laravel as a framework) of Laravel could be keeping the quality of an average PHP project from improving.
If I would know Laravel (like I know CakePHP, or I “think” I know CakePHP) then I would be jumping in code blocks of different projects, making changes (hopefully without introducing new bugs), doing much better code reviews, adding TDD, adding complex test cases, faster build times by utilising custom Docker images (private/public) that use PHP/Laravel’s optimised ways of doing things, static code analysis, less dependency on 3rd party extensions and what not…
What it also means is that I would start getting inputs/feedback like “Now you know that Laravel is having this issue, while CakePHP may not, so you will have to agree to the way things are done within Laravel eco-system”.
While I know Laravel is adding so much stuff so quickly, and is growing at an amazing speed, however I also happen to know how much more it could do, and I know this because of my experiments with CakePHP and SlimPHP, and seeing how amazing these frameworks are and how they handle the same use-case differently (across Laravel, CakePHP, SlimPHP).
If I would start learning/using Laravel then yes, my tech discussions with team would improve a lot, and that would also mean that my scope of knowledge would also be bounded(for the lack of a better word) and eventually I would know things just as they are in Laravel, and not as how could have been(for better or worse).
So, I am confused – should I change?
I will need to strike a balance for things like these, but then, these 2 things (time-management during discussions and learning Laravel) represent less than 2% of the other such imbalanced/unclear thoughts/decisions.