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Discussion on: The seniority trap

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kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman • Edited

Hmm. You might consider me trapped. I wouldn't say I "barely" code. I do so at least weekly. Most of what I code is infrastructure (but I would be happy to let others do that as well). I also research and implement improvements to our code base (alleviating pain points). Examples: improving our MVU organization to make pages more easily nest-able. Centralizing validation and access control in our infrastructure, making them hard to forget and easy to get right. I also help a lot with design guidance on features.

This is my chosen path at this point to be more R&D / architectural / vision keeper. Frankly I am quite bored with writing features. I have done so for 19 years. I've implemented many things dozens of times over using many different tactics and paradigms, and don't find it that interesting anymore. I'd much rather have a design session with other devs and discuss different options with their trade-offs and let them make their own informed choice and let them implement it. (We use impure edges / pure core design, so it is usually not particularly risky for us to fix things later.) And I believe the math works out better in the long term with me as a force multiplier for the rest of the team, rather than coding a lot of features myself.

I lead the team, but I am not anyone's boss. I don't really want to have that dynamic with my team. We are in it together, serving our customers and supporting each other in doing that.

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phlash909 profile image
Phil Ashby

I think we're technical twins :)

I chose a very similar path, explicitly asking to be involved at any level of detail so I can exercise my techie chops helping get stuff out / bug hunting etc. discovering how stuff works in the process and occasionally getting to say "I don't know" in front of the teams, while accepting responsibility for big decisions and having the title "architect", co-ordinating workstreams across the company and steering them together to avoid big disconnects and grumpy M&A people!

It's been really interesting, good fun and very satisfying when I get out geeked by people, they get to take on the decision making and we all move along a bit!

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0x12b profile image
Simme

occasionally getting to say "I don't know" in front of the teams

This is such an overlooked, yet extremely effective thing for creating a sustainable culture without fear, shame, and blame. 👍🏻 for actually practicing it!

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo Author

Indeed, and asking juniors to explain something you don't know to you. I think it can really raise their confidence. It's also important to be honest, and you shouldn't just lie that you don't know.