Oh no – not another one! Yes, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there are probably enough programming and tech blogs out there. I’m doing this because I believe I have a unique perspective to share that you’ll be interested in. Coder on the Frontline is a blog focused around the realities of commercial software development today – think missed deadlines, incomplete requirements, Agile fanatics, and that latest buzzword ‘DevOps’. I can see you nodding your head already.
I will also be sharing my thoughts on the world surrounding software development. We don’t work in a vacuum – there’s testing, customer support, sales, management – the list goes on. They’re happening around us at the same time, and the more we know about them, the better we can do our jobs. I aim to build that bridge between programmers and everyone else.
A little backstory: I finished my degree in Software Engineering in 2006, and went straight to work for an R&D team in an American multinational specializing in test and measurement. I enjoyed the benefits of working for a large company – subsidized lunches, free GP visits, and free t-shirts with the latest department initiatives emblazoned across it. On the other hand, I felt increasingly constrained on multiple levels. I was a human resource – more resource, not so much human. I was merely a number, literally, as all company resources had to be accessed using our employee ID.
I hatched an escape plan, and in 2011 I made my way to New Zealand armed with 3 bags and a work visa. I had never travelled outside Asia, and only 9 months to find permanent work or leave. A risky proposition, but I was prepared to fail and head home. Fortune favours the bold (and the right economic climate), because I was lucky to find a coding job in Auckland after 8 weeks. That’s where I’ve worked at for the past 5 years, and what a difference it was. It’s a small family-run firm with a niche product and market. At under 30 people in the whole place, there are no employee IDs and we developers have to do more than just cut code. I finally discovered the human portion of ‘human resource’.
I had grown enough that I began wondering “What’s next?” and that eventually led me to study towards a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management. As of this writing I’m 8 months from completing my studies with the Open Polytechnic, and the things I’ve learned have spurred me to create this blog. I see my daily work through fresh lenses now, and it is my hope to empower you to do the same.
I am by no means an expert (Tip #1: be wary of anyone calling themselves an expert), so I invite you to join the conversation and learn from each other. I will reflect and share my thoughts on a variety of issues – from strategy to coding reviews to politics (yes, even politics). It may get a bit ugly, but that’s life for coders on the frontline!