I have been at my current employer now for over four years and when I started there I was merely involved in the implementation of new features and bug fixes. But as my tenure increased as did my involvement in the projects that I was implementing for the various customers we have, and responsibilities. Now I spend a significant portion of my time not looking at as much code or configuration for the project’s implementation but assisting my team members in implementing new features or fixing bugs, helping our customer support team resolve issues, working through customer requests with a business analyst and how it could be implemented, and ensuring that we meet the deadlines that we have set.
Moving from a software engineer to a manager like role is different and presents its own set of challenges. The code I do look at now and modify is mainly to assist another colleague (pair programming, guidance, etc), to optimize what we currently have (nothing better than making something run more efficiently or take up less memory), or to streamline our internal development process across the teams (if I can automate it then why not). I really do miss sitting at my desk uninterrupted for extended periods of time listening to either a podcast or music and coding away resolving a bug to be ready for a release or implementing a new feature for a customer. But now that is few and far between.
With this limited amount of time programming at work I have decided to start programming even more at home; I really don’t want to get rusty at my programming skills. The last month or two I have been attempting to (and successfully) solve programming challenges and problem sets on both LeetCode and HackerRank. Both are very good sites IMO on keeping your software engineering skills up to scratch and making sure that you understand the fundamentals no matter the language. Along with this I have started to get back into working on some side projects. The problem I have with side projects is that I start them, get a portion of the way through them, and then lose interest. I have many side projects shelved and stashed which are incomplete, and when I go back and look at them I know why I stopped working on them; to be honest they are not really good side projects.
So for 2019 (and I have been going strong so far which is really why I have not written a meaningful blog post recently) I plan on working on and finishing a side project (at least one meaningful one) so that I can showcase it, and write up some more technical post about what I have been reading and doing in my spare time. 2019 is going to be another good year 🙂