About this site

Journey from developer to manager

This site is where I share my thoughts on technology and software/web/application development. I am Jim McMullen, and I have been in this business for almost 30 years. I have messed up plenty of times over those years, and I have learned a few things along the way.

I have two degrees, but neither is in programming, computer science, information technology, or anything remotely related. I became a programmer by accident — I worked for a small company and when my boss needed someone to create a database, I was the only one there with any computer experience at all. My experience was as a USER of computers, albeit a power-user. My boss bought a copy of Paradox. I bought a couple of textbooks. And away I went onto a path that would move me into a development career.

You might say I embraced my inner geek — it had been trying to get out for years, but I had been beating it back in favor of more “cool” career choices. What a waste of time. I should have listened up front and gotten my CS degree. But since I didn’t, I learned a good bit of what I know through sometimes-painful experience and helpful advice from books, web sites like Stack Overflow, and training classes.

I spent the first 15 years as a full-stack web and database developer. I gradually moved into leading teams of onshore and offshore developers/QA analysts, network engineers, and others. I do less coding and more managing. And I’m not complaining about that – I wanted the new challenges.

The thing is, leading technology teams is not a natural thing for most developers. We are used to diving deep into a problem and leaving the strategic thinking to someone else. Now that I am that “someone else”, I’ve added new skills and knowledge to my toolset.

I’d like to share some of what I have learned with others who may be taking this journey, too.

One thought on “About this site

  1. That’s almost exactly my story… and this is the blog I’ve been thinking I should write – also because writing something I’ve learned down helps make sure I actually understand the whole concept.
    When I tell my friends what I’ve learned though, I get blank looks, as in ‘That’s nice dear… but I really have no idea what you’re rabbiting on about.’ My mum is fantastic, she just listens and nods her head.
    It’s great to see someone else who started out like I did!

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