I’m having to complete the dreaded end-of-the-year review right now. It’s due tomorrow, so I started working on it this morning. First question? What are your strengths?
I really hate these type of questions. I’m not a rock star programmer. I’m a solid support developer, good at figuring out how things tick. I’m happy not being on the bleeding edge of technology anymore. But that makes for some boring performance reviews.
I took the easy way out. I listed two things: flexibility and organization. I thought they were rather generic, applying to just about anyone working support and juggling changing deadlines.
Then my boss walked up. “I need your help.” He looked a little panicked. “The client says we have to go to QA today. And our deployment person is out.” He pulled up a chair. “I need you to stop what you’re working on.” (Motions to the performance review on my screen) “I need you to adapt the code you wrote a few months ago for setting up training records.”
He knows I keep everything in a personal wiki, completely categorized and searchable. I located the code and my notes within 30 seconds.
And then he read what was on my screen — my answer to the performance review strengths — and started laughing. “Very appropriate.”
Photo by 1Happysnapper (photography)