New Year, Fresh Start

It’s a new year, and I’m beginning my first full-time development job.  Today I pushed my first code to productgirl jumpingion.  I could not be more thrilled!

2014 was a big year.  I quit my job, went back to school at Fullstack Academy, learned how to do big-kid javascript, built 13 full-stack applications, and learned how to work with many emerging technologies, from d3 to tessel to CSS animations.

As I approach my new job, I want to make sure that 2015 is an even bigger year.  My current goal is not to get broader by learning a bunch of new languages, but instead to solidify my understanding of what I’m doing now — front-end JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, and their associated libraries.  I propose the following set of goals:


Increase proficiency with git, completing all 50 levels on githug

Continue to push at least 2 commits to github per week (personal projects)

Become a regular contributor to one open-source repo

Present at 2 Meetups or conferences


Create a new d3 web app based on a current news event or issue

Read EcmaScript 6 — all of it

Learn reactJS

Learn coffeescript (necessary for my current role)

Learn to work with a templating language other than swig, such as handlebarsJS

Solidify knowledge of promises and use them in a project

Be able to implement all JavaScript array methods without having to look up documentation online

Learn how to write and run effective unit, integration, and e2e tests in jasmine and mocha


Play around with 6 emerging technologies or libraries, including CSS animations, polymer, handlebars

Test out and review 10 of the hottest mobile apps this year

Create a personal project using PhotoShop and Illustrator, so that I’m able to use basic features effectively in both programs (necessary for job, useful in the future)


I’ve included several public-facing goals that are not directly related to learning, such as presenting at meetups and contributing regularly to an open source project.  These help me stay accountable to my learning by creating pressure to be able to explain what I’m learning, subjecting my understanding to scrutiny.

The fun goals in the list help me stay up on the latest technologies outside my specific realm, but they’re all things that I’d enjoy doing anyway.

What did you set out to accomplish in your first year?



  1. You might be interested in something my friend has done and that we’re both doing this year: resolution bingo! The idea is you set 25 goals for yourself and try to accomplish as many as possible (or get a bingo ☺). This gives us the freedom to set more ambitious goals with the expectation that we won’t accomplish all of them but that accomplishing a good amount of them is still rewarding. You can see my friend’s publicly hosted bingo card from last year at whenever his site comes back online.

    A big thing for me in my first year was (and still is) trying to take more responsibility. I want to move towards coming up with ideas and implementing them rather than just implementing other people’s ideas. For me, thinking up a non-trivial algorithm to solve a problem or solving an issue people took for granted gives me a lot of satisfaction!

    I still struggle with committing time to open source. How do you motivate yourself to continue programming after a long day at work?

  2. Hi Ginna, and thanks for sharing this.

    I must say I’m impressed by the way you set up goals, and these sure a great ones! Keep them up.

    My goal for 2015 is to raise the bar of the quality of my work even more.
    I consider myself fairly skilled in the field of JS/Java/backend/CSS and very flexible in learning, but what I found after a few interviews is that I shouldn’t settle in the quality field.

    I learned this the hard way, mostly because I would like to transit into a remote job way of working.
    It’s not bothering me, instead those failure were of great inspiration and I’ve learned a lot.

    So, reading a wonderful post like this is awesome 🙂

    Also, if you want to learn React JS (wonderful piece of software), read this (I advice reading it after you already tried doing something with react, after that many things will become clearer)

    Be amazing

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