Are we really software developers, or more than that?

Was chatting with a teammate, Hailey Mahan, the other day after I was complaining that, for the 10th time that day, I had to figure out why our Jenkins build was failing. It had just been one of those days. Failed builds, miscommunication between teams, operations issues to overcome... basically a perfect storm. By this time, it was 15:00 in the afternoon and I hadn't written a single line of code, nor would I for the rest of the day.

As we chatted about it, I realized, looking over the time so far that I've spent at Lonely Planet, that I really shouldn't be called a developer anymore. It simply isn't what I spend most of my time doing every day. Then I thought about the last 20 years of my career, and realized that while that there a definitely fits and spurts here and there why I have generated copious amount of code in a short timespan, the majority of my time in those years has not been spent coding.

I'm currently on day #5 of producing almost no code. Here's what I've spent the last five days doing.

  • Researching build platforms and code testing frameworks
  • Evaluating
  • Writing documentation
  • Reviewing and approving pull requests
  • Authoring guidelines for learning & development programs
  • Mentoring teammates
  • Installing/configuring a ton of software for our e-commerce application
  • Debugging build errors
  • Meetings