Writing code while being a Manager

I tried to draft a provocative title so that people will click on my post. I wanna share my experience of writing my latest code this weekend after 12 months of inactivity!!

I have indeed been focusing on my CTO role lately, and I am trying to understand all of its aspects while being useful to my company. From experience, I can tell that it’s not an easy task to double/triple your team year after year. Last year, I had to step down from the last resort of my coding, mainly DevOps tasks and simple APIs. I think that the last useful code that I actually wrote that is still in production (obviously with updates and modifications in the meantime) is an auth component, as I found out today.

This weekend I really wanted to write some code and after spending a while choosing between buffer or loomly for some of the features they offer, I decided that it’s better to write my own software. Anyway, it wasn’t going to be a supercritical production features Just something to prove to myself that I am still “hot”.

Writing the Code after Retirement

So, let’s say you’ve retired for some time ( 12 months in our industry is more than a decade in other industries ), and you decide you want to write some code. You want to deploy it and be operational, but you only have a couple of hours. How do you start?

Initially, I thought of trying to golang. That was my secret passion before retirement. But it didn’t work… I was never a good golang dev. Mainly just an enthusiast.
So… It was time for me to open my pycharm again (yes, it’s still there on my machine with the only difference that now I use the community edition ).

Pycharm opens, I press the button for a new project, I give it a name and here it is.. An empty workspace!

What should I do next? I wanna build an API and a background job. I need something simple and fun like flask. But I am good in flask. I want something more fun!
I go and google for python modern frameworks 2020. A lot come up like falcon, hug, and more. I remember all those. They have been around for quite some time. Nothing fancy or sexy..

It seems that nothing has changed so dramatically in the last 12 months.. I then remember my beloved chalice!

Flask + AWS = chalice python framework.

True love never dies

I spend 15 minutes developing my code and installing the corresponding requirements. Easy…

I need to deploy it.
Woooow… AWS is still there on my computer, I just need to re-enable my tokens with the permissions I need on the AWS console.

5 seconds later, my code is up and live!

( I spent my next 20 minutes debugging a stupid test case for my cloudwatch Event, but all good )

I enjoy my code deployed the last 4 days!!

It took me 12 months to write a line of Code

Yeap, that’s true. It took me almost 12 months to get back on my laptop and write some code, but I had to do this for my team to continue to grow. I feel that I had to take the bullet so that nobody else would have to.
I understand now that software engineering is a highly creative craft, and I realize that whoever has chosen down this path doesn’t want to ever leave the space even for something with more status or money. We are addicted to solving problems, getting an empty document, and producing something alive, thinking that we could hyper optimize a straightforward problem.

We are engineers, by design.