My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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Some people call them fat pants. Some people call them stretch pants. Others might call them exercise pants or sweat pants. Whatever you call them, they're comfortable to wear. The problem with sweat pants is the reason they're comfortable is because they're big and expandable. And that expandability means they have a lot of room to accommodate growth as well.

Juicy Sweatpants

In fact, some people wear them when they know they'll be eating a lot, just for that purpose.

It's hard enough to know when you're getting fat - after all, you're you and it's a slow process, so you wouldn't notice unless your pants got tighter or you were reviewing your weight on the scale regularly.

Jucier Sweatpants

It's even harder to notice when you're wearing sweatpants. You can go for years - growing and growing ...

Juiciest Sweatpants

And before you know it, you've not just beat anorexia, you've pwned it.

As with the other chapters in this section of My Job Went To India, "That Fat Man in the Mirror" boils down to refusing to let yourself become comfortable in where you're at personally (not geographically) as a programmer. In this case, you need to put away your programming skill fatpants, and periodically review your skills. Take an inventory. Better yet, have someone else evaluate you. Sweats may allow for growth, but it's not the good kind.
An easy way to measure your progress is to use a trusted third party. A mentor or a close colleague doesn't live in your head with you and can help give you a more objective look at where you stand. You might discuss your abilities as a software developer, project leader, communicator, team member, or any other facet of the total package that makes you who you are. (Chad Fowler, pgs. 155-156 of My Job Went to India)
If you're a bit uncomfortable asking someone to help in that way, you should make use of review-time at your company (if there's such a thing where you're at).
If your company has such processes in place already, don't write them off as HR nonsense. Take them seriously and make good come out of them.
Keep it written down and revise and review often, Chad says.

That sounds like solid advice to me. I got started with some goals earlier in the year, and had planned to periodically review them here on the weblog. But that hasn't happened, so it's something which I need to put more effort into.

Don't get be lethargic about your skills. Instead, take off the fatpants and actively evaluate where you're at and where you need to be. Get some feedback. Otherwise, some day in the future you may end up wondering to yourself, "how did I lose my edge?"

Do you review yourself periodically? Have you used the reviews to become better?

Hey! Why don't you make your life easier and subscribe to the full post or short blurb RSS feed? I'm so confident you'll love my smelly pasta plate wisdom that I'm offering a no-strings-attached, lifetime money back guarantee!

Leave a comment

brittany, your making us look bad!

Posted by Brittany Johnson on Dec 01, 2010 at 07:46 PM UTC - 5 hrs

That guy didn't beat anorexia! He MURDERED IT! LOL

Posted by Nyan on Mar 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM UTC - 5 hrs

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