I don't like writing code

November 4, 2014

Honest confession: I don’t like writing code.

WHAT?! You don’t like writing code?

Nope! I love solving problems. I love building products for clients. I love being able to spend 30 hours pouring over a problem and have someone respond with “you made my job so much easier”. That is what I get my pleasure from, that is what fuels me.

I don’t write code for a living. I’m a developer. I develop solutions. When clients come to us, they’re not looking for lines of code – that is not the deliverable. The deliverable is a product that provides value in some way to them. The code is just a requirement to get to that product.

Code is an unavoidable part of developing software. Code is the part of product design that slows us down, it is the part that breaks, the part that causes exceptions and the part that causes confusion. Our primary goal as developers is to do as much as possible with as little code as possible. This is why we spend so much time focusing on good coding techniques so that when we interact with the code, we can make it as easy as possible to work with it in the future.

I love that more frameworks are coming out and abstracting more concepts away from us. Most applications aren’t that unique, we build them on the same basic ideas. Anything that helps us to put these concepts into practice with less code and less effort is great thing and I welcome every new opportunity to try it out.

I should be clear – I don’t hate writing code. I love playing around with techniques and seeing how I can make the code more clear and expressive but only because that is something that is required for me to be able to build my software more effectively and quickly. I love learning new programming languages and frameworks and I love practicing my craft but it is all in service of developing software. If there ever comes a day that we can write software with no code, I’ll still call myself a developer. I’m still developing, the underlying tools don’t define my job.

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I'm a Senior Software Engineer at Heroku

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