For software developers and those working in the technology area, quantifying can be a very tough job. However, doing this is very essential as it helps in different areas of career, including performance appraisal, communicating upward in the hierarchy, working effectively with non-technical business units, and making sure that your contribution is valued in your organization.
Measuring the value of apps built, scaled, monitored, tested, and supported becomes quite tough. Some appraisers analyze work accomplishments defined by circumstances, actions, and results. What problems were faced and what actions were taken to solve them, and what was the result of the solution? These are the things which are analyzed.
When you ask yourself some pointed questions like by how much percent were help desk tickets reduced owing to your monitoring and testing for code update? This gives you some figure. Were you successful in delivering a new application two weeks before the deadline? Would you be able to link your code with strategic company objectives? Are you doing something that outperforms the traditional standards in your niche or industry? There must be some way in which you can quantify your achievements.
This exercise may feel strange to programmers and developers. Following are some of the ways which can ease quantification of achievements.
Think in Terms of Percentages
It is not always possible for programmers to point directly to numbers such as profits or revenue. However, thinking in terms of percentages can help find a way out. Percentage of change, the percentage improvement in performance post and prior to the project, etc are some of the examples. Analyzing if there was a measurable improvement, before and after the project, can help in arriving at percentages.
Go for Open Source Project
Open source projects can be very helpful for developers to build a quantifiable track record with those skills and also urge them to measure their work regularly. Through open source projects, it is possible for programmers to interact with peers, get feedback on the work done, and be continuously evaluated for ideas and skills. It is in open source projects that work done by one programmer is checked and inspected a great deal by other programmers. Sharing of technical knowledge, spreading it via social media, presenting this at conferences or tech meet ups, etc can demonstrate a degree of passion for coding.
Measure Progress, not just Products
Progress should also be considered apart from the final product. The technology is constantly changing and so some apps may never be ‘complete’. This impacts your measurement of work. In such cases, it is always better to keep track of code changes which resulted in front-end interface changes that could be seen by all team members. This gives an external sense of progress and gives a more correct reflection of the amount of efforts put up into the code.
Maintain a Work Journal
It is always good to note down the work done as this helps in tracking your efforts. You can maintain even a simple.txt file to record work down on a daily basis. This way you will at least have some record so that you can convey about it to your managers. This will also ensure that you are covering all bases in a performance review as memory cannot store everything.
Do Communicate in Non-Technical Language
Whenever you are sending updates on work progress to management, and team members ensure that you explain it in non-technical terms, especially if the person or body to whom you are communicating is not from a technical background. Try and avoid technical jargons. Explain in plain terms so that your message gets conveyed and nobody wastes their time.
Recommendations- Gather Them All
One way in which developers can quantify their accomplishments is by asking others to do it. If you have been recognized for certain skills then ensure that you share these appreciations as recommendations. LinkedIn is one of the best social media tools that can help you get written and professional recommendations.