I hadn’t blogged on here in quite a while. A lot of that had to do with my employer expressing some concerns about the fact I kept this blog. I understand where they were coming from. They were a small company, and when you’re a small company, your reputation is everything. If I, being their technical lead, had said something off-color or controversial, it wouldn’t be fair for it to come back to them. As such, I willingly stopped posting on my blog. It was a career choice, and to be honest, it’s one I regret now.
My relationship with my employer has changed quite a bit. I feel as though I can post again. However looking back at the posts I made four years ago, I feel as though the things I wrote then no longer reflect who I am now. I have learned more in these past four years than in the previous ten years. I’ve softened in some ways, and hardened in others. I made some sweeping generalizations about what it means to be a good developer, the integrity of freelance contractors, and the role of management in a development process. I will be honest with you, I read what I wrote again tonight with my gained maturity and perspective, and I was a bit ashamed. I feel as though I was too harsh, too black-and-white, and definitely too arrogant.
The world presents us developers, data architects, software architects, and technology managers with problems to solve. They do not ask us to solve these problems because the problem itself is interesting or fun; they ask us to solve these problems so that we might increase efficiency, decrease costs, or open new business opportunities to them. It is easy to forget that. I wrote a series of articles called “Being a Better Programmer.” What I’ve learned is that the best programmers never forget that they build for other people. I wrote an article on freelance contractors, calling them “filthy mercs.” What I’ve learned is that talent isn’t just a tradeskill, it’s a commodity to be sold, and that that’s ok. I wrote an article on the role of management, indicating it was their job to leave developers alone. I have since managed and I have been in need of a management. What I’ve learned is that management is a dirty and tough job with a lot of stresses of its own. What I’ve learned is that the manager’s job is to ensure that the human and business element of development is never forgotten.
Frankly, I’ve learned too much to even consider myself the same person I was when I started this blog. It was time for some spring cleaning. I’ve removed all my old posts, not because I like to hide my shame, but because I feel it is a poor reflection of who I am today. So, with any luck, I’ll find some time here and there to start this over and perhaps post on what I’ve learned while working in this industry. Maybe someone will read it and think it good advice someday.
Thanks for reading,