Long ago I used my blog as a means of learning things like programming languages, databases, etc. It was fun for a while, but I always got hung up on making it easier to blog. As I became more focused as a programmer, I spent even more time trying out new ways to write with the majority being some focus on Emacs. This quest for the perfect authoring environment became painful at some point as well and I punted. I'd use Wordpress.com for a while, or most recently Medium, but I'm finding it is still hard to write consistently. My best motivator has typically been committing to a cadence of writing something, so that is what I'm going to do now.
I've dropped my history of blogs because although it was fun for a time to migrate them to new platforms, I don't want to spend the time massaging some content that is wildly out of date and poorly written.
Instead, I'm going to start fresh and try to provide a bit more focus. Specifically, I'm going to try and write about my experiences working toward leadership. Like many programmers that hit a fork in their careers, I'm working towards being a manager. I still like programming, but at the same time, I'm a little tired of the tedium. It is magical to make programs do interesting things, but that magic happens by dealing with tons of small details over and over again. What's more, software is never finished, so that new architecture or refactoring is rarely the fix for very long.
On the other hand, I've found that I have some helpful talents that would serve me well as a manager. I've always had a passion for making the lives of developers easier. While management doesn't mean writing tools or software for developers, the impact is similar. Helping my team with the tedium of professional software development, helping them to grow in their careers and making an impact across the organization falls in line with what I'm passionate about.
There are obviously challenges that I'll need to do some serious work on. I've avoided flashy demos for terminals in the past and that is something I'm sure I'll need to reconsider. While I'm comfortable presenting, I can certainly spend more time to make my slides and message clearer. Feedback and tough conversations are other areas that I can't say I'm looking forward too, but I'm certainly looking forward to getting better at it. After all, good feedback is a way to show that I care about my team.
Clearly, it isn't going to be perfect, but it should be a new challenge and one I'm hoping I'm well suited for.
So here is the plan:
- Write something at least once a week
- Focus on experiences, techniques, and strategies for becoming a better leader
- Communicate what worked and what failed
- Engage in the larger conversation online
Wish me luck!