Get Better

Series: growth October 24, 2011

... the sooner you care, the better you'll make. The better you'll do. And the better you'll live.

Merlin Mann

Take 5 minutes to:

  • Read the most interesting blog post in your RSS reader
  • Look through the code you wrote today and find a place to improve
  • Write down any problems you encountered today
  • Learn a new keyboard shortcut for your IDE, source control tool, or shell
  • Ask a co-worker if they’ve read anything interesting lately

Take 15 minutes to:

  • Refactor a piece of code you wrote this week
  • Find code that’s missing tests and add one
  • Update your team/company wiki
  • Read a few of the top stories on news.yc or /r/programming
  • Read a chapter in a technical book
  • Write a thoughtful comment on a blog post

Take 30 minutes to:

  • Watch a talk from a conference that interests you
  • Write a blog post about a bug you encountered and how you fixed it
  • Write a blog post about something you’ve been working on or learning about
  • Listen to a podcast - here are some I like: Podcast Roundup
  • Do a kata or a problem on Project Euler
  • Attend a brownbag or lunch-and-learn

Take an hour a week to:

  • Help an open source library that you use - patchs, documentation, bugs
  • Work on a side-project on your own
  • Watch a screencast about something new
  • Try to answer some questions on StackOverflow
  • Do prep work to host a brownbag or meetup talk
  • Take an online class: Stanford courses on iPhone, Machine Learning, AI

Take 2 hours a month to:

  • Go to a local dev meetup
  • Take someone you look up to out to lunch and pick their brain
  • Do self reflection and update your position on The Long Road
  • Plan out how to Get Better over the next month

Take a weekend a year to:

Take one minute a day - just 60 seconds - to stop and ask yourself this question:

Did I Get Better today?

If you aren’t happy with your answer, do something about it.

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