This week I have decided to write about Stay in the trenches. This refers to deciding to program even when the craftsmen receives a an offer that would pull him away from programming. Dave mentions that the minute the craftsmen stops programming, his skills will fade.
This has certainly been the case for me. In school there were semesters that brought me away from coding. There are many classes that are non programming and when I take so many of those non coding types of courses plus working part time, it was at times hard to find the time to code. So I could only imagine what would happen if I had a job where I couldn’t code every day. Especially with family obligations. I know that my uncle and folks that I have talked to in interviews mention that they don’t code anymore and that they miss it. So I completely agree that skills atrophy when the craftsmen does not use them.
Dave recommends finding alternatives to the managerial promotion. The craftsmen needs to figure this alternative out on his own and write down these rewards. This is something that I will figure out on my own as I have more work experience. I know that these days there are lots of oppurtunities for senior software engineers so I think that if I want to stay in a coding role I am confident that I this type of oppurtunity will exist.
This specific decision is a ways a way for me. But there are similar cross roads in the earler stages of my career. There are positions for new grads that involve different levels of coding. There are Quality Assurance roles that are part of the Software Development Life Cycle but it is not a role that is strictly coding. So it just goes to show that the apprentice will need to choose programming again and again. There are many roles in software that do not involve coding, and it is important to choose programming again and again. This is an important lesson that I will take into my career as I graduate and move into my career in software development.