In June I'll begin my 7th year at DriveTime and who-knows-how-many years developing. Do we count college? What about my years in middle school with GameMaker and VB? (Thankfully I didn't know about source control back then so I'll never have look that code in the face. Phew!)
Anyway, one of the most important things I learned early on is that software development isn't about the code; it's about problem solving. Critically, this realization has helped me evolve from being a code monkey to someone who considers the problem, does research, and proves things out before jumping into the code.
However, the reality of this mindset has never been laid out so clearly to me than when I was perusing my GitHub earlier today. The number of code contributions I've had recently has dropped drastically. Not only that, but it dropped suddenly!
The hard line is when I was promoted from Senior Software Developer to Software Architect. I was now officially designated to research/design, creating standards, and evangelizing. I was more focused on solving the bigger picture rather than coding up the immediate need. While I still brought value to the teams, I wasn't coding.
Do I still love to code? Yes.
Am I still contributing while coding less? Absolutely; maybe even more.
Is it time for some side projects to scratch my coding itch? Probably!