Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 183 of 365 - February in Review

Progress against my goals in February was good, but not great. Between a cold and an unplanned for tax expense, I found my resources for personal development limited.

1. Lifting - I made my workouts despite being sick, completing my 3rd cycle of  5/3/1. I am hitting some PRs. It is all I could have hoped for. I will reserve the hotel and transportation for my grip contest upon finishing the 4th cycle of 5/3/1 in March.

2. Eat on $4 a day - I spent $59 on groceries in February, 25% of it was ice cream. My stock piles of rice and beans really got me through the month cheaply, but I was still eating on more than $4 a day. I will set $35 a week as my spending limit for March as well. There is still plenty of food in the house to support this. I did spend quite a bit of unnecessary money on Scotch, but hey, I can afford it! I am watching for a 20% of cookware coupon from Amazon, so I can finally order the pressure cooker.

3. Become competitive at pool - No pool, but I was rather social, which is really the intent of this goal. If March is as busy as this month was, I'll be doing great.

4. Maintain my home - Between being sick and owing thousands on my 2011 taxes, I just did not have the motivation to make progress against this one. There are structural maintenance things that really need to be done, so hopefully I will get on it during March.

5. Excel as a quality engineer - As planned at the end of last month, I finished the agile testing book, got the security scanner working again and ordered the kanban book through inter-library loan. I got ahold of a new tool for file comparisons that is really paying off. Using it to support some manual testing uncovered a few barriers to test automation in our API. Hopefully they will get fixed in March. I was also able to incorporate the comparison tool into our release deployment process, removing a significant source of risk in our SDLC. Topping it off, I am part way through synchronizing our version control and servers cross-environment, which will bring us one step closer to build server implementation. This was actually a great month towards my career goals. When I spend 40+ hours a week on something, I guess it is easy to improve.

All things considered, I am happy with how the month went. I really need to take care of the house in March though. I find it dreadfully boring, but it makes no sense to let my biggest asset rot away, simply because I am lazy. Maybe I can get my wife to deal with it...