From Agile Developer…to Agile Person

One of the questions that comes up in interviews – without fail – is the one about where you see yourself in the near future. You know the one…

“So Ed, where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?”

Cue long, wordy answer littered with buzz words and important sounding job titles. Yawn.

It’s a standard-issue question, and one that until recently I’ve always been ready to answer, not just because I know it’s coming, but because I thought I knew where I wanted to be in 3-5 years.

Something changed though. I realized that I actually cannot answer that question anymore, not with anything a potential employee would probably want to hear anyway. I decided that rather than just be an Agile Developer, I wanted to be an Agile Person.

What the hell is an Agile Person?

I don’t know where I want to be in 3-5 years. I don’t know what job title I want, neither do I know what I want to be doing. I don’t have a detailed career spec for the next 3 years. What I do know is that as long as I’m doing interesting, challenging things at work, I’m happy for the long-term requirements of my career to evolve naturally, steered solely by the interesting things I’m doing now.

To me, this is what being an Agile Person is, and this is what I’m going to aspire to.

“So Ed, where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?”

Well, I have no idea. But, I if it’s challenging and interesting, I’ll be happy giving it my best shot.

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2 thoughts on “From Agile Developer…to Agile Person

  1. It’s a slippery slope…one day you’re saying “I don’t know what job title I want in 3 to 5 years”….next you’re saying “I don’t want a job title”…..you’ll upset the status quo with thinking like that.

    In all seriousness, how will you balance the idea of having no firm goals with simply wondering around aimlessly? Or is it not a problem to wonder around aimlessly?
    🙂

    1. Upsetting the status quo is not necessarily a bad thing, although that depends on your “status quo”.

      My post is somewhat ambiguous though. I’ve not gone from having a clear “goal” to not having one, and neither am I saying it’s now ok to drift aimlessly instead of having clearly defined targets. However, and this is where my Agile reference comes in, I am no longer trying to define a specification for my career path in the sense that I’m chasing a specific role or job title, or some kind of progression of titles.

      I want to be a first-class developer, and I’ll know when I’m good enough to say that I’ve reached my goal. Developer, Senior Developer, Tech Lead, Tech Architect… it’s all bullshit really. If you’re good, you’re good, and my point is that I’m now chasing a level of expertise rather than a job title.

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