The career goals I have set for the next twelve months begin with solidifying my foundation. My foundation will support me as I become a more talented and confident Software Engineer. To create a firm foundation, I plan to spend the first quarter of the year completely prioritizing education. This includes college and alternative learning methods, i.e., Udemy courses, reading publications, tutorials, etc.
This upcoming spring ’22 semester is where I finally begin only to take my major-specific courses. For example, two of the classes for the semester include APCV 320: Computation Thinking & Doing & CYBV 301: Fundamentals of Cybersecurity. APCV emphasizes computation, algorithms, and complexity and how they are used to solve problems in computing; CYBC emphasizes cyber security policy, doctrine, and operational constraints. With these courses being completely new concepts for me, I plan to spend a lot more time studying in a deeper state and work to gain a firm understanding of each unit.
In past semesters, the courses I was taking covered familiar concepts in object-oriented programming. Since I felt confident in those topics, I didn’t apply myself as much as I will have to for the subsequent semesters. This college journey has become a journey that I am beyond excited to embark on. I give a lot of credit to the new curriculum and university I have transferred into.
Moving into the second quarter of the year, I will be wrapping up the spring semester of school and have a few weeks off before my summer courses begin. I will use this free time first to decompress and enjoy a lot of my non-technology-related endeavors. Then, when it is time to get back to work after enjoying a little dedicated personal time off, I will begin to complete freelance projects. Over the past two years, I have completed numerous web development freelance projects. Still, this second quarter of 2022 will be devoted exclusively to machine learning solutions and data analysis projects. Web Development is what reeled me into Software Engineering, but it is not what I want to make a career out of. Instead, I want to be an Artificial Intelligence Software Engineer. This is where I will completely pivot as I end all web development obligations.
In addition to the methods I used for web development to gain clientele, I also plan to grow an organic online presence with my blog. I want to be more present on LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, GitHub, and even a little bit of Twitter to display my projects along the way and attract new freelance clientele or potential career opportunities.
I will end the second quarter by establishing a comfortable balance to handle my rigorous course load, my current military career, and my freelance work. Balance is essential, and once I create the most optimal routine for productivity, I will be in good shape. The third quarter is where I will make sure I am honing in on this routine and tweaking the necessary aspects to ensure my daily routine is as close to perfect as possible.
During the third quarter of 2022, I will make sure I am constantly growing in education and freelance work. However, I won’t be adding anything new to my plate. Instead, I will expand my knowledge, comfortability, and other skills to maintain a successful freelance business and a student.
The fourth quarter of the year holds a lot of weight because this will potentially start the timer for my final year of active-duty military service. This timer relies on whether I elect to separate from the Air Force in November 2023. This timer indicates that it is time to prepare for job interviews and begin applying.
There are various platforms to practice interview concepts like algorithms and databases like LeetCode and AlgoExpert. Still, I’m sure there are some that I am not aware of. If you have any recommendations on what I should use to prepare for the interview process, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. While I will be working through college courses and a few freelance projects sprinkled in, I will have to add interview prep into my daily/weekly workflow.
I plan to maintain my blog, but I will write a lot more technical posts than the diverse writing I’ve done up to this point. First, I want to document how my studies are going. Then, I plan to take this to the next level by actually explaining some of the new-learned concepts intellectually. This will be used as a personal library I can refer to and become a resource for someone else to learn something new.
I want to write about how freelance work will offer advice to others on how to begin their freelance career and how to grow their clientele. I plan to grow my blog into a recognizable online presence. My blog will help me enjoy writing while helping others and giving myself opportunities regarding outside technical writings.
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