Episode 7 - Goal Setting Like A Dev

Episode 7 – Goal Setting Like A Dev

In our first episode of 2018, and in the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions and bettering ourselves, we thought it would make sense to talk about goal planning. While it’s not always specifically tech or development related, it can still be immensely useful in furthering your personal and career growth in the long run.

0:45Sharpening the Tools

Erin built an iOS app and loaded it onto her phone. Following a Treehouse tutorial and diving into Swift.

Dave has been experimenting with Firebase’s authentication API.


6:09 – Opening the Toolbox

Inspiration from our friend on Slack:

sassy_samurai – “They say announcing a goal in public makes you more likely to work on it and stay focused. So, today I announce my big, hairy, ambitious goal (BHAG). It is to rank in the top 50 of a highly competitive entrance exam in my country for grad school aspirants. Let’s see how it goes. The exam is on Feb the 4th of next year. You get to laugh hard at me if I fail at this.”

8:02 – Our personal goals – ongoing learning, staying organized, projects at work, growing the podcast and engage with our listeners!

So we’ve got some goals, that’s awesome — but what’s next?

12:04 – “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

14:55 – Applications aren’t built in a day! But what will you do with a whole year?

15:50 – “Begin with the end in mind”, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, reminding us to start with long term vision and work backwards.

18:42 – MVP Minimum Viable Product

20:01 – Writing down your goal, “putting it out in the universe”, or telling a friend solidifies the goal and makes you more accountable.

20:50 – When we break down our goals into steps, the middle ones are usually the hardest. Defining “Step 2” is the hard work but vital to achieving the goal. “Don’t be like the underpants gnomes.”

25:16 – Setbacks! The loss of a job, unexpected financial changes, can change all of your goal priorities. That’s why frequent review is important (and built into SCRUM).


26:43SMART Goals:

  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable).



29:38 – A Kanban/Trello workflow is a great visual reminder of what’s done and what remains

  • Trello – create boards, cards/task, checklists, due dates, etc. keep track of everything you need to accomplish for your project.
  • Google Goals – essentially you can name a goal and say how often you want to work toward the goal and for how long during each session.
    • For example, Erin has one setup where she wants to work on learning about programming/work on development 3 times a week for one hour.
    • Caveat: I think currently you can only edit details of these from your phone, as the web app only supports moving the session time, deleting a session, or marking a session as done.
  • Have an accountabili-buddy
  • Reward yourself! When you complete a manageable piece, reward yourself. This means a little something different to everyone.
    • Examples:
      • Watch an episode of a series you’ve been watching.
      • Buy something from your Amazon list.
      • Play video games for a little bit.


Sometimes you will have some setbacks, and that’s okay.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

We often learn more from those and our failures than our successes. The key is to stay motivated and adjust your plan to still be able to reach your goals. (Kind of like the iterative Agile/SCRUM methodology)


40:04 – Erin’s Job Search Update


Takeaways From This Episode
Break steps to achieve your goal down into manageable steps.

Write your goals down.

Reward yourself a little along the way.

Stay motivated.


Terms of the Trade


Favicon – a small, iconic image that represents your website. Favicons are most often found in the address bar of your web browser, but they can also be used in lists of bookmarks in web browsers and feed aggregators.


Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.


Backlog -an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product.


User Stories -A user story is a tool used in Agile software development to capture a description of a software feature from an end-user perspective. The user story describes the type of user, what they want and why. A user story helps to create a simplified description of a requirement.


Team Foundation Server (TFS) – A Microsoft tool to help with version control, project planning, testing, build and release management, and more.

Share Code. Track Work. Ship Software. | Team Foundation Server


Posted by Junior Developer

Leave a Reply