What impact do you want to make in life?

It is necessary to understand the importance of why we do things and what impact each of our tasks creates. This is a lesson I learnt from a sprint demo. Pardon me for the jargon I use in this post. I hope the message comes across in spite of it.

If you read my older article on retrospection, you’ll know that our team uses Agile methodology to develop software. One of the many Agile ceremonies is the Sprint demo, where we show what we have done in the sprint to the Product Owner (PO) and he/she approves that the deed is done.

As a new developer in the team, my task was to write an integration test for a code someone else had recently written. Because I was new to the team and needed a lot of time to set things up, I didn’t focus on anything outside my task. My only thoughts were, “I’m going to write the integration test for these flows, so I need to understand the scenarios and make sure the code checks them.”

I finished coding the tests for the required scenarios and my tests passed. So, I went on to demonstrate it to the PO and a couple of other people in the team. As expected, there were a few questions about the code and then the task was approved by PO.

Later, a manager asked me if I know how much test coverage increased because of my code. I had no idea. He asked if I know whether these things are being tracked. Again, I had no idea. These are usually tracked by the testing team, so there was no need for me to think of these. He then told me that it’s always good to see not just why you are doing something, but also what impact you are creating by that.

How true were his words and how applicable is it to everyday life? I decided to reflect on why I am doing the things I do and also identify the impact I create in the whole scheme of things. Before that, I thought of what impact I want to create in life.

Does my everyday action help anyone even in the minutest way? How useful am I being to the people around me? Am I doing the best work I can do? Am I inspiring anyone or motivating people to do their best? These are the impact areas I want to focus on in my life. This is my life’s goal, as of now. Of course, it is open to improvement and I may modify it later. Right now, I hope to measure my impact using these questions.

Do you have a goal or an ambition? What is the impact that you want to make in life?

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