Cassidy Williams

Software Engineer in Chicago

Cassidy's face

Feedback is awesome

Today was a great day full of feedback from people.

First of all, my tutorial I wrote (which is here if you didn’t see it) has been getting some great results! A few people I know have been checking it out, and I presented it to Twilio yesterday, and so far I’ve heard a lot of positive things!

Today I got a message from a girl in NCWIT:

This girl across from us wanted to learn HTML today at a hackathon and she was trying to watch some videos and I literally jumped out of my chair and was like “omggg i know the best guide ever!” and showed her your tutorial, and she loved it. I think she finally got some neat stuff together at the end. I’ve seen a lot of tutorials and guides and stuff, yours is hands down one of the best ones I’ve seen.

This made my day! I love getting positive feedback like this, it only makes me want to write more.

And then, I also got an email from one of the higher ups at Intuit today:

We were just talking about you the other day, in relation to the Women in Technology initiative in QuickBooks Product Dev. We rolled out a formal goal of mentorship and sponsorship to develop a pipeline of women ready for director, group manager, principal engineer, and architect roles. Since we started… we have two new women group managers, a new woman principal engineer, and several new first-time managers. We have a monthly lunch with the women PD leaders, and we feature various guest speakers— mostly women execs at Intuit. Intuit also hosted a Girl Geek Dinner… Btw, your work on …[things I worked on at Intuit]… default template is now live in QBO. So you’ve got a legacy at Intuit from your internship.

Between the two messages, I don’t know which one made me more happy. I love hearing that my views on mentorship are being spread, and that my work I’m doing is making a real impact.

So anyway, to the point.

Feedback should be given more often. Good and bad, even a pat on the back, is more motivating than almost anything else! At a majority of my internships, I’d work on something and if I finished, I’d get another assignment, and that’d be that. I wouldn’t find out feedback from my coworkers and managers until my midpoint reviews, most of the time. In fact (probably as a result of the impostor syndrome), I often thought I was doing terribly until I got such midpoint reviews, because I didn’t hear any feedback until then.

Was it my fault for not asking for it? Probably. I ask for it more often now. But it makes me wonder about everyone out there who doesn’t ask for feedback once in a while. Some people might be stopping projects, giving up on problems, or even quitting jobs, just because they don’t know they’re doing well. There’s plenty of articles out there about the importance of encouragement in the workplace.

But, there might not be as many articles about asking for feedback. I don’t want to bore you with statistics and psychology. So, I’ll leave it at this: Ask for feedback from someone this week. Ask them about a project of yours, an assignment you’ve done, even about your attitude about work or school. It could be the extra kick in the pants you need to do more of what you’re doing, or to work harder.

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