Purpose of This Page
This is my README. I hope that by reading this, you gain an understanding of how I work, how I interact with people, how I hope to receive feedback, and how I hope to improve myself. I know I’m not perfect; I am always trying to improve myself. I expect to update this page with some frequency.
Me as a Person
I am an INFJ personality. I find happiness in helping others live better lives, however I might do that. You are more likely to notice me removing roadblocks for my teammates than you are to me asking them to add more to their workloads, though this is something I am trying to balance.
I am an introvert. I crave socialization, but I do much better in smaller groups than in large; I think groups of 3-4 are ideal for me. That said, I can do just fine with a larger group when I want to.
I prefer to think and move quickly when solving problems. I am detail-oriented. Sometimes these two qualities clash, but I like to think I do a good job of letting the right quality shine in any given scenario. Sometimes it’s better to move fast and add details later. Sometimes you need to get all the details right the first time to avoid disaster.
As a Human
I care what others think about me. This used to mean that I would try to make everyone happy, but I have learned that that behavior doesn’t help anyone. Instead, I prefer to communicate directly, but empathically. And as a result, I prefer others to communicate with me the same way. I want to know when I’m doing something wrong, but I would rather it be a conversation than a scolding.
I tend to take some time to think through my feelings. At some point, I will realize that something feels off (or it feels awesome), and I will mull over why. It could take me days or weeks to figure out why I feel the way I feel. But it’s important for me to understand, so I will not let it go until I do. If I don’t, then I won’t learn from it, I can’t work on it, I can’t improve on it.
I am an open book. Long ago, I was more of a closed off person. Over time, I learned that the more I shared, the better I felt, and the more I could learn from others. If you want to know something about me, please ask! I will let you know if I’d rather not talk about it, but I’m more likely to be open to talking.
Likewise, I would love to talk about you! What makes you the way you are? What quirks do you have? What controversial views do you have? What do you need to let off your chest?
As a Coworker
There are times when I find value in working through a problem together, and there are times when I prefer to work heads-down. If you feel that the way I am working isn’t conducive to the work we are doing, please let me know. I am not too stubborn.
Before embarking on a big adventure, I like to plan the road ahead with at least an outline. I love doing this collaboratively, because it helps us make sure we are not forgetting anything by getting a larger number of minds on it.
There are certain kinds of problems that fascinate me. As a result, if you ask for help or feedback when working on that kind of problem, I am usually excited to jump in. And I won’t just do the work; I’ll work through it with you and explain my thoughts. The kinds of problems that fascinate me include complex SQL queries, performance optimization, and memory optimization.
I love receiving feedback, even critical feedback, because that is one of the fastest ways to learn. Please do not hold back. Don’t be mean about it, but please let me know your thoughts.
As a Manager
When I am a manager, I try my best to provide the guidance my team needs without telling them how to do their work. I really like it when my teams work autonomously, but I also really enjoy being a part of what’s going on. When I can’t, I prefer to be kept in the loop. And I don’t mean hourly updates; instead, let’s chat anytime something major changes and let’s talk at least weekly about what’s going on and what’s next.
I like to set up weekly one-on-one meetings with each of my teammates. This is a time for us to let each other know how we feel, what we need, and anything else on our minds. Having this time scheduled allows us to be intentional about sharing our needs with each other. Of course, if we need to talk about something before our next scheduled 1:1 meeting, let’s talk as soon as we can. There is no need to wait.
I prefer our communication to be as direct as possible. That goes both ways. It is better to be clear about our needs than it is to let problems fester over time. I hope we can both understand that we are sharing with each others’ best interests at heart.
As a Direct Report
To my managers, the most important thing to know about me is something you have already read above: I prefer direct communication in both directions. Let me know where you think I could improve, but please let it be a two-way conversation. I want to improve, but I don’t do well when I am directed to do so in a top-down fashion. I need it to be a mutual conversation.
You should also know that I work well in an environment where I can determine the company’s or team’s needs and act on them. Of course, I would like to discuss anything that is outside the usual expectations or the current plans. I enjoy seeing my team from a high level and understanding how it interacts with and depends on the company as a whole. As a result, I think through how the two affect each other and how decisions made on either side may affect each other.
Like I said earlier, I tend to take some time to think through my feelings. I tend to share before I’m ready by letting you know when something doesn’t feel right to me, but it could take me several hours or days to really figure out why it doesn’t feel right to me and what my needs are that aren’t being met. When I do figure it out, I will talk through it with you so that we can have a shared understanding. There may or may not be a solution or anything to change, but at the very least we will both understand why I feel the way I do and that could be helpful in the future.
As a result of my desire to keep roadblocks away from my teammates, I can get into a state where I am switching contexts frequently and don’t get to the work I really need to do. Again, this is something I am working to improve, but to help guarantee myself time to get my planned work done, I put recurring events on my work calendar titled “🎧”. During this time, I prefer to turn off Slack, put on headphones, and focus on the things I have planned to get done.
However, this is not a hard and fast rule. If you need me, come find me. I will not be upset if you ask me a question or need something from me. This time is more about me being intentional and focused than it is about keeping others away from me.
I use my work calendar extensively to organize my time. My time is flexible, so if you need some of my time and you can’t find any on my calendar, talk to me. It’s likely there’s something I put on the calendar for myself that I can adjust.
I’m not sure I’ve made it clear. I want your feedback. I’d love your feedback on this README, on my interactions with you, on how I work, on anything. Help me be a better person.