Craig Rowe

Techlead / Developer

24th November 2011

Joining Dootrix

It's been a while since I posted. I'd like to say that's because a lot's been going on. In reality I got lazy and now I just happen to have something to write about that can make it sound like a lot has been going on.

So I joined Dootrix.. and therefore left Headscape. To be honest that's not that big a deal.. certainly not for you. It is just my job after all, not yours. So I thought about twisting it to chat about change.

I'd been at Headscape for some four and a half years and as Tech Lead was in the privileged position of being able to exercise a great amount of control over my work. As an aside; I say 'privileged' because I truly believe that the most important aspect of staff morale is control over your own work. That includes not only how you do things but also the shift in responsibility from some 'upper layer' to yourself - with direct ownership.

So when the opportunity came up to move with Bob to his new company it was quite a big decision to make. Not only would it be a change in technologies it would also be a slight change in role, going from the lead to being part of a team under the technical directorship of Kev. I've also become the youngest at a company again (which is always good for the early mid-life crisis).

For those keen readers amongst you you may relate this to my post from August about being a middle class dev.

Decisions, decisions...

When making the decision I was reminded by a friend of Haw's words "If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct". I'm a great believer that two truisms of being a programmer are that your main job is to handle change and part of handling that change is constant learning. Now this comes in many forms. In an agency environment each project represents new challenges and potentially things you've never done before. Then on each project as the requirements evolve your aims and tasks are constantly needing readjustment. If that isn't something you look forward to then you might want to reconsider being a programmer.

Personal projects may be your playground for trying new things but bearing in mind you probably spend about a third of your life at work wouldn't it make sense to get to try new things at work? Now, that isn't always possible and is often more incremental then it is seismic or even lateral. This makes sense for business and can also for you, particularly if you want to become an expert in something specific. However, as we know the tech world moves fast and so as professionals so should we. One of the easiest ways to do that is to switch roles entirely...

"What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?"

In times of recession and austerity there can be many factors that influence a decision to move jobs that aren't just about if the new job will be fun. However in true hipster #YOLO style I decided to try and rule out those kinds of concerns. Instead I returned to my point above regarding change and constant learning. What was on offer at Dootrix was enforced change within a known situation (working with Bob) and so was Ideal. Since joining I've been working on C++, OpenGL, Silverlight and iOS. A reasonably far cry from my ASP.NET web days. And that is not to denigrate those days. The web is awesome, in many ways still the future and I will definitely still be in this space on personal projects but now I get to learn at a dramatic pace during worktime (which is, let's be honest the majority of the time) on a wide variety of software projects.

Going forward:

Hopefully you'll see a bit more variety in my articles switching from web to native and back again. I've got a couple of web projects I'd like to be making and a few silly gadgets I like messing around with so the coming year should be great.

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