We are already at the mid-year and it is the vacation time. For me, it is the right timing to assess the goals I have set at the beginning of this year.

In January, I had set several goals and grouped them by categories. Here are the categories that I have used for this year:

– Personal Goals
– Financial Goals
– Community and Volunteering Goals
– Health Goals
– Spiritual Goals
– Family Goals
– Professional Goals

In the next paragraphs, I will share with you some of my professional goals, the progress I have made and some of my thoughts based on the progress made.

As I am a software architect involved in a cloud-based project with some challenges related to the volume of the data, I have decided this year to learn Hadoop infrastructure and Spark. In addition to help me for my current project, I am expecting that they would boost my career in the big data era.

Being a self-learner, I have chosen to learn these technologies through the MOOC classes. Indeed, Coursera and edX sites offer several courses related to these technologies (Hadoop Coursera Courses and edX Spark Courses). I have also bought several books that I started reading when commuting: Learning Spark: Lightning-Fast Big Data Analysis, Hadoop: The Definitive Guide
and Advanced Analytics with Spark: Patterns for Learning from Data at Scale.

To complete these learning paths, I have also set a goal to pass 2 related certifications, one offered by Cloudera and the other by a Databricks.

In addition to learn Hadoop and Sparks, I have also set other professional objectives: improve my management skills and build a web-based product to help parents and students decide which school to choose.

So all was set to achieve my goals and started my working diligently. But months later, I realized that I was far away from those goals. Indeed, after following some Hadoop courses, installed Sparks and played with some examples, developed the back-end part of some basic functionalities of the web-based application I have given up for different reasons (lack of time, some courses were delayed, lack of expertise on Front-End side to develop professional UI …etc). Some of the reasons may seem objective but what is important at the end is that my progress was slow and I felt that I am missing my professional objectives for this year!

Bpcqq0wIEAA_0qM

I believe that the following are the important reasons that explain my slow progress:

– Lack of focus: indeed, in addition of these technologies I spread myself very thin reading and learning new technologies, not in my goals scope, such as functional programming, Akka, Reactive Architecture, Data Analytics…etc. I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time !

– One of the important practical rules to help measure the progress to achieve your goals is to set benchmarks. I have completely missed this point ! Indeed, how can I assess my progress if I don’t have benchmarks that help me measure my progress? As the saying goes: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Having benchmarks and splitting goals in smaller steps should fuel my motivation as each step completed represents a small win!

During this week, I will take time out to reflect on my goals and hopefully will be able to come up with an updated plan that I can achieve by the end of this year !

Please feel free to share your experience and thoughts!