This is probably the first time I've legit used '#goals' correctly, and actually alluded to something I'm actively working towards. This post is about career goals.
I fell into the web a long time ago - at least in the sense that it's been over half my life by now. My first website went live at the age of twelve: [REDACTED] (No. No way can I post that domain. I used the Wayback Machine and just... NOPE.). I continued to experiment with web technologies over the years, the result of which led me to freelance during university and now work in front-end roles. Not only that, but I have taught classes on various aspects of it too.
Why the web focus though? I thought this was going to be difficult to answer, but it's actually quite simple - albeit long-winded. I love the immense potential it represents; allowing people to help themselves, allowing people to help others directly, fostering connections in lieu of constant personal contact, delivering new experiences, helping people do good things for free - I could go on. There are just so, so, so many reasons why the web is important. The web extends beyond just websites for me: I used it as a crutch to overcome social anxieties and excessive shyness. I taught myself how to code using resources my parents would not afford on paper. I expressed myself. I entertained myself. I made friends when it was difficult for me to maintain friendships at school - and some of these individuals are close friends of mine seven years later. Heck, the web even introduced to me to my soulmate who is with me in Australia. I loved being on the web and I always wanted to be a creator on it.
There are so many lines being crossed for the sake of monetisation, for the sake of control, and I want this to change. Ultimately, I really want to give back in honour of the faceless strangers that made a lot of my life happen the way it did. The web should be better for everyone.
Where we're at: After over a year of being together in a group, we recently changed our name and should be filing for incorporation in the next two weeks, as well as producing the new website. Our product will also finally ship for the first time, even if it's an extended beta. I feel like we really should have reached this point a year ago. I wear the hats of 'CEO', UX Designer, front-ender, marketer, graphic design, proofreader, project manager, and more I probably don't remember. I don't regret the time lost, but I want to dedicate myself to this. I'm even concentrating my PhD on something that will contribute to this platform in the long run. I'm not good at networking, and I'm not that great at developing, as well as other things I'll need to work on.
Aims for 2017: I intend for people to benefit from the community software we've created, generate some form of profit (however minimal), and have basic versions of our chat app and learning platform shipped. If I allow for something more hopeful, I'd love for 'guilds' of creatives and developers to have registered on our platform from at least four different countries. There are two that exist, and I have at least three university campuses in mind to approach to start their own. Whether this turns out to be successful or not remains to be seen.
Become an expert UX/UI Developer
Where I am: I am definitely not where I think I should be. I have many, many different hobbies, and if I had given front-ending a priority a lot of my current goals would be easier to achieve. I'm good enough to get a job - I have been employed as a front-ender, UX Designer, and graphic designer. I have also freelanced. In the long run I want be able to land a decently-paying remote, part-time job. I'm not good enough for that yet as most of them are senior roles and I don't stand out.
Aims for 2017: I want to be well on my way to being kickass at front-end development. At least where I live in Canberra, I intend to be good enough that people come looking for me. I want to be able to explain myself and contribute to front-end knowledge. For example, I love Sara Soueidan's content. These talented people are the only reason I even started checking Twitter. If I become even a fraction as good as that this year, I will be satisfied. I don't even have one thing on GitHub! I must contribute something useful this year.
That's essentially it. Two main goals. But also a lot of little things I'll have to break down and actively work on in order to get there. I'll have to work harder than ever.
I'm coming for you.