Pattern 10 – Draw Your Own Map

For my last pattern for this blog, I wanted to do one that I’ve been waiting to do until the end. This being potentially the last formal software engineering class I will take, I wanted to read “Draw Your Own Map”. This pattern talks about the importance of working in an environment that will help you reach your personal goals. It also makes it very clear that the person who has sole responsibility for taking the first step in each of the small goals that lead to the high level goals that make up every “goals” list, is the reader. We need to take responsibility and not blame any company, or position that could potentially be holding up back from reaching our goals.

I’ve always been a goal oriented person, whether it be in terms of finances, academics, career, or personal. So far I’ve done a relatively good job at achieving my goals and hope to continue this trend throughout my life. In relation to career goals, since I started my college career I knew that I wanted to be involved in software development in one way or another. Through my internships, I’ve learned what I look for in a company and the position that I will be starting upon graduation. I consider it drastically important when interviewing with companies to ask the employees what their goals are. If they’ve been with the company for years and their goals are similar to yours, it should mean that the company is a good fit. For me, I looked for companies that value mentorship, are current with today’s team-based practices, and allow for good work-life balance. On top of all of these, the ability to “be water” and move around within the company if my goals change is also important to me.

Everyone’s map is going to be different but it is important to stay fluid in your mindset of what is important. Do not allow yourself to be pigeonholed to a position that you may one day hate and also makes it difficult for you to find work if you decide to move on. Find a position where the company values your work ethic and desire to learn over the specific skills you have coming into the position, while they are important, they aren’t what will make your relationship with the company last for the long term.