re: I have been a professional developer for 31 years and I'm 53 now, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

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re: How have you stayed on the individual contributor path without getting pulled into principally management duties? Something I've noticed is as pro...
 

I have managed to avoid the management duties thus far. I do have to devote more of my time to knowing what my team is doing now than I used to and making sure that they all have a stream of work to do. But that has impacted me only a limited amount (perhaps a day a week has been traded off for lead duties).

I've found over the years that there is no substitute for building things to stay current. I simply cannot learn from videos or reading without actually having a real project to try out the things. The reason I put the emphasis on the "real" there is that I feel like having a project that actually has to do something and which people could use forces you to solve problems that you might get stuck on and abandon if there was no reason to power through them to get to a finish line.

For example, my current project is over here: madgameslab.com/

If you click through the various lists aren't going to make a lot of sense to you if you're not really into board games, but it's effectively a spot for people to see what others are selling/buying before going to a convention together. I'm currently working on improvements to it that will add user accounts so that I can then ask for donations to my favorite charity (Extra Life - extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseactio...) so donators will get extra features on the site. Doing stuff like that gives me the incentive to finish. Don't finish; non-profit children's hospitals don't get money. That's enough incentive :)

But when I do one of those, I'm often using tech that I'm trying to learn. In this case, more Polymer, JS modules (and some webpack), and Mongoose.

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