Oscar Funes

What is a performance review in 2020?

November 16, 2020

This week I got an email to start writing my performance review, and began wondering what is a performance review in a 2020 world?

Have I’ve been more “performant” this year? Does it appear that way?

Like, I feel like I’m working more than ever, sometimes into weekends or into late at night. Usually, my brain takes a while to disengage and not being able to physically change places makes it harder. Also having “an office” near me makes it difficult to not accept a random request for approvals or reviews, since I can simply enter a room (and my computer is always on).

So while, yes, I might be doing more because simply I’m putting more hours in. I don’t feel it portrays an accurate picture of what 2020 has been and probably will be.

Am I achieving the goals I’ve proposed myself to work during 2020? Yeah, sort of, as best that can be done during a pandemic, and effectively having to be on calls most of the days, and leaving few moments of focus time during the standard work hours.

But what about things not portrayed, in a way, in a performance review? I used to talk and help people as I walked down the aisles and someone wondered if I knew about a topic.

What about me just wandering around and asking what people are working on, or talking about.

Or even things that I thought I would have time, but in reality, I cannot do because there’s really no more energy in me to achieve those random things that I have on my todo list forever like writing that CLI with common recipes, or documenting how to get around across org communication, or automatic updates for modules, etc.

So yeah, writing a performance review or self-assessment seems like not providing a full or correct picture of everything that is happening while work is also happening. Like, roles changed, and with everybody at home, we’ve been adapting working hours to also do other things.

At the same time I kind of make myself feel bad, because I see other people being really productive, and effective and doing great things.

So, I hope you stay safe, take care of yourself as well as the ones you’re responsible for, and you’re trying to keep yourself afloat during these times.

Happy coding!


I'm a software architect that enjoys helping people, building platforms, and working in distributed systems at the intersection between people and software.