Elephant with a bite taken out.

[Illustration attributed to Sean Gallo at http://www.seangallo.com]

How do you approach a large project? (The same way you eat an elephant.)

My mantra is to break it down into smaller parts and methodically work my way through. How you work your way through can vary. If it is something you quickly want feedback on I like to iterate, as with agile project management. If the requirements/goal are more static, waterfall may be the appropriate technique.

This week I’ve begun my full-time focus on securing a new job. A large and obviously important personal project. The tagline¬†is “6 Weeks To Success!” It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Here is how I’m breaking down the tasks.

my job search whiteboard

Note: I love to use the white board.

my job search whiteboard - left

On the left side we have the main technologies I want sharpen my skills on:

  • Node (and related elements – common frameworks, Test Driven Development,
  • PHP (and related elements – OO design, common frameworks)
  • Databases (MySQL and NoSQL)
  • Javascript Templating (Angular)

Note: I’m leaving off basic front-end web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, responsive techniques, etc…) because I already have those in spades.

I’m also adding in some bonus material for other technologies (Droid, iOS, Backbone, Automation, AWS, React, Facebook, Ruby, Rails, Python…) because I’m a geek at heart and want to learn EVERYTHING.

my job search whiteboard - right

On the right side, I have guiding principles. Things like how to break up the portfolio, what other auxiliary considerations¬†to keep in mind (using GitHub, keeping up a relevant social media presence, learning through other channels like blogs and books, networking, etc…), timelines, and distractions to avoid.

This was a good bite today. I’m well on my way to eating that elephant.

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