Annual Reviews


This year’s annual review process swung around fast! It seems like the team joined Ingram Digital just months ago. I’ve done them a few times, but this was the first review process I’ve done at ID. Reviews are a time for reflection. A time to make and receive input on how we’ve performed. A time to realize and face weaknesses and understand our strengths.

There were five appraisals of my developers, and one on myself. To normalize the results I did my self-appraisal first. I had everyone on the team do their own self-appraisal, too, but I avoided reviewing theirs until I’d done my appraisal of them. This was to make sure my scores weren’t skewed and to look for any disconnects.

I started by reading status reports I sent for the year. For the weeks without status reports I re-read email to make sure I didn’t miss any accomplishments. This was time consuming and highlights the need to maintain a tighter journal of deeds. I’ve done this for myself over the last ten years. Keeping a separate journal for one’s team is highly valuable and I’m going to start doing this beyond status reports.

My team rocks, and my entries in my self-appraisal are the result of their efforts. As I listed each accomplishment I thought, “My team made this. My team created that… I worked my face off, but what specifically did I do?” It’s strange to reflect on what one was responsible for, but did with the hands of others.

Appraisals for my team were less demanding after my own. For one, after this point I’d compiled the full list of the team’s accomplishments. For two, it’s easier to judge others after judging one’s self.

Some additional links on performance reviews:

The Senior Struggle – PCA – volunteer this season

The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has an ad in Philly’s subway worth passing on…

The Senior Struggle
A little bit of you can pull them through the winter.
Pay a visit, run an errand, lend a hand. Your support means everything.

Call 215-765-9040 or visit for ideas and resources. You can do a lot of good.

How much is that digital picture frame going to cost your family?

Answer: 0.0032 cents per hour x 24 hours x 365 days = $28.03 per year

It’s Christmas shopping season and I hope you’re not planning on giving a digital picture frame. Besides being the scorn of Adam Frucci (of Gizmodo) by buying a tasteless, tacky, gadget, these things really suck.

And while I’d never thumb my nose at an LCD panel, these suck a trickle of juice equal to a 40W light bulb, twenty-four hours per day. Depending on the cost of your electricity, that’s close to 1/3 of a cent per hour. How much does this cost your friends or family? About $28.03 per year.

$0.0032 x 24 hours = $0.0768 per day

$0.0768 x 365 days = $28.03 per year

If there really were 20,000,000 sold in 2008, that’s $560,640,000 dollars in electricity per year added to the American budget.

Think of these numbers the next time you see one of these suckers…

Always Plugged in…

Other than last weekend, I’m almost always plugged in. I pride myself on this. I carry around two phones, both with ‘net access. One is for work, and the other for personal, but both are pulling in information, news, and texts.

So I shut down for last weekend. Took no calls, just Twittered a bit and stayed in tune with email web browsing. And finally checked personal voicemail on Monday. Holy hell! 14 voicemails… Seriously?

Well – after not taking calls for the first time in months, I wished I had. In those voicemails were messages from family letting me know of my aunt’s passing. Anna, who was my mom’s midwife. An amazing person.

Voicemail is not the way to hear this. That sucks. There’s something to be said about staying connected.

Written on an iPhone on a slow-moving train.

Unplug from the news

Dropping off a cornice at Expert\'s Return

I’ve been glued to the news this week and filled up on too much doom and gloom. There are plenty of positive things to focus on. Even if this is the start of a recession, focusing on a tanking stock market doesn’t do any good as a developer. For you stock traders, yeah, you’re boned. But for software developers, there’s much to build.

Focus on what you’re good at. Make yourself better. Enjoy life.

It’s time to switch back to loving this perfect fall weather and looking forward to a killer ski season.