Brag Diary - Reflective Journalling

Adapted from Gargi Sharma, Shukri Ali, Aisha Ali and Danica Sugic

Throughout your training at CodeYourFuture you will be doing lots of reflective journalling.

The Brag diary is one type of journalling you will use to keep track of expreiences you have throughout the course to learn from and refer back to when you start your job search.

What is a Brag Diary?

This document is personal to you and an opportunity for you to record your growth and the skills you pick up over the next few months. Too often we are hard on ourselves and compare ourselves to others. It’s important to remember that everyone has different abilities, which is a good thing!

You will be building an experience map for yourself. You will do this by reflecting on what you have done over the week, talking about what you have achieved, and what you have found difficult.

Through regularly reflecting in your Brag Diary, you can track your self-growth and achievements on your journey with Code Your Future.

Why should I keep a Brag Diary?

A lot of work you will accomplish in the next few weeks will get forgotten and by the time you reach the end of your training. You will find it difficult to remember the skills you picked up along the way. The brag diary ensures that knowledge isn't lost. You can track what you have learned, it is also good to see the extra tasks you did and what you learned from them. Do not forget any invisible work, i.e extra hours spent on learning a new concept.

3 steps to creating a Brag Diary entry

You will reflect on your skills, achievements, and challenges every week. You need to use the template to do your reflection once a week. You will also present your entry to your PD buddy groups when you meet. We want you to give feedback to each other and support each other with challenges. There are 3 steps you need to reflect upon every week:

Each week you must pick one competency that you used or worked on, i.e. if you did some pair programming with one person or more then you can select teamwork - tell us how it went and about your role in that team. Please, try to write your response according to the STAR method as this will allow you to have your answer in a very concise way.

  1. You need to note down and discuss a challenge you came across. Challenges are good as they are an opportunity to learn something new and grow. You all have different abilities and can learn from one another. Please support the other members of your group with challenges and bounce ideas off each other. You can refer to challenges you came across in homework or a tech project or even a challenge with trying to get work done, i.e. time-management.

  2. You must also list an achievement every week, it can be something that might seem very small but mean a lot to you. It can be anything such as finally understanding a new concept, or learning a new technique or having a fun time with your buddy group! If that is your achievement, then please list it.

  3. You can write a sentence or a paragraph for the individual steps, as long as you have a clear example for each one. You can choose more than one competency or challenge or achievement and discuss that, one is just the minimum.

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Competencies

The following competencies/skills are highly valued by employers, specifically tech employers. They are critical for you to develop because they cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence.

Each week, list one competency you used during the week, with an example of how you used it.

When you start writing your CV and applying for jobs you will be ready with a database of all the times and have examples of when you have used these skills. Then you will easily refer to them during your job interviews.

Competency

What does it involve?

Attention to Detail

is about achieving efficiency and accuracy in your work.

This will help to improve your performance.

Adaptability

is about being able to adapt to new situations and being open to change.

You can learn exciting and new things through adaptability

Critical Thinking

being able to precisely and objectively evaluate a situation in order to find the best solution.

Decision making

is being able to make important decisions.

Leadership

is taking the initiative to oversee a process and lead a team to achieve goals.

Being able to listen to everyone in the team, delegate tasks, communicate effectively and inspire your team members.

Oral/written communication

is being able to communicate effectively with others and get your point of view across.

Problem solving

is being able to find a solution to a difficult or challenging task. Looking at a challenge from different angles and trying to find a new solution.

Taking initiative

is the ability to see something that needs to be done and deciding to do it without someone else telling you to do it

Teamwork

is being able to listen to others, take their thoughts/opinions on board and work with them towards a common goal

Time management

is planning and controlling your time to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.

What do I need to do afterwards?

When you meet in your Buddy Groups, take time and encourage each other to share your achievements. Praise the hard work and achievements you all have made, no matter how small they may seem.