What I’d like to achieve in the last year of my CS degree

Today marks the last day of a three month long summer break. Tomorrow will be the first day of the final year of my Masters of Computer Science degree. Since quitting my full time job at the end of 2013, my goals have shifted somewhat. Initially I went back to study to combat the dissatisfaction I had felt with my career for quite a while. Since then it has become more about carving out my own path in technology and hopefully making it a bit easier for other women to do the same.

Initial encouragement from a few key people, momentum and a healthy dose of feminist rage contributed to the women in tech stuff becoming a much more important part of my life. Now, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about these things – whether it’s reflecting on my own place in technology, wondering how I might be able to do more to encourage other young women or working out what I can do to try and combat the ingrained biases that prevent women from thriving in technical degrees and careers.

I’ve spent a lot of time over summer thinking about what I’d like achieve over the next year. The list is shaping up quite nicely.

  1. Strengthen my technical skills and develop a portfolio of coding projects
  2. Work to make the experience of women in tech more positive, rewarding and sustainable

Yes, this list is short. Initially it was a lot longer but once I’d finished writing I was able to boil it down to these relatively simple objectives. Having only two goals has a few benefits – first of all, I can easily remember them! Secondly, when a new opportunity presents itself I’ll be able to do a quick mental check to see if it would contribute to either of these aims.

In the past I have suffered from a certain short-sightedness which has led me to chase after every opportunity that has presented itself. This year I am planning to focus more deliberately on fewer things in the hope that this will allow me to achieve more.

What do you think? Is it better to have more or fewer goals? To say yes to everything, or to pick and choose which opportunities to go after?

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