It’s been a long time since I posted anything on this site. Well I am starting to get on top of things again so what better time to bring things back to life.

I don’t have any firm plans to post on a regular schedule yet as I’m not sure how much time I can carve out but I will try and update you as and when I know more.

The main focus for now is to document what I have recently learnt about software development, including me learning C# which, along with Visual Studio is all new to me. Along with this there should be some more general rants and of course the occasional photography frustration thrown in for good measure. So pretty much as it was before…

Okay so lets dig in to why I stopped in the first place. The main reason is that soon after returning to full time work my job role changed to a more management type role which I found extremely stressful and over time that made me quite unhappy in myself and so I just didn’t feel like posting anything. Anyway I don’t want to dwell on this, years have passed and things have slowly improved to a slightly happier place where I am now considered “Lead Developer” instead of a manager. This means I get to spend a lot more time in the code again and also hopefully inspire the other members of my team which is the most rewarding part of my job and the reason I stuck it out even when I wasn’t really enjoying things.

Anyway my new position allowed to be introduce a few changes and one of them was to allocate a small amount of time to do some learning during work hours which made a massive difference. It soon made me realise how little I knew about developing in general. I had just assumed that what we were doing was the only way to do things. Trying to make changes to our tangle of spaghetti code was just par for the course. I quickly read a couple of books (I won’t list them here as I plan to revisit them and write up some brief review posts soon) and my eyes were opened. I got the rest of my team to read some bits that I thought would benefit them and this started some discussions and all of a sudden we were all looking at our old code with new eyes. We slowly realised there is a better way…

I always knew that being a developer meant that you should always be learning but I had just assumed that meant there was always a new technology around the corner. I hadn’t previously realised you could learn and improve the “craft” of development. Once I did grasp this I wanted to learn everything at once, listening to multiple podcasts, reading various articles and obviously picking up more books.

There is so much out there that I wasn’t previously aware of that I seem to be improving exponentially. At least that’s the way it feels. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. There are been some missteps and wrong turns along the way but that’s how you are meant to learn. This feels like a great time to start getting my thoughts on all of this new knowledge into words which should help me solidify things in my head but also allow others to question my take on things and hopefully this might start a discussion or two that can become mutually beneficial.

One of the downsides of being a bit down is that I let my weight slip again. Recently I was up at one of my heaviest weights when only a few years ago I was the lightest I had been in ages. This is something I have started to tackle and the renewed energy this is giving me has made me start to take a look at what drives me and what I can do to make my life better. This involves taking a closer look at my career as well as life outside of work.

From the career side of things it feels that I have been coasting for a while. The sudden insight into what I don’t know proves to me that I wasn’t pushing myself until fairly recently.

As for life outside of work I always felt that this blog was good for me. Just getting things down in words tended to clarify things in my head. It helped me focus on learning new things and then trying to explain those things in a post made me get a better grasp on them rather than just a vague understanding which can then easily be forgotten over short periods of time.

There have been a few big changes in my life since I last posted. One big change in my life is that I have finally plucked up the courage to move out of my childhood home in Taunton. I had lived there since my first birthday, not that I remember that far back, so I was expecting the move to be very hard but it was much easier than I was expecting.

It was time Shirley and I moved to pastures new and it has changed everything. We only moved about half an hour away but our new home is on the edge of a lovely little village just a couple of miles from the sea and we are loving every minute of it, as is our little Chihuahua Ebony. Thinking about it that is another change as I’ve never really had a pet before, unless you count goldfish as I had a few of them when I was back in school.

Oh and one last change, I have now grown a beard. I have never been able to do this in the past as my skin just became too itchy but after a while, and some moisturiser, I got used to it and everyone seemed to approve so I’ve had it for well over a year now. Time to update my profile picture then…

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Image: Pete O’Shea

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