How Much Should You Code?

Jan 15, 2024

The following article is taken from Getting to Staff, a weekly newsletter from Thinksy's CTO Eden Ghirmai.

"here will be the occasional week that is purely coding, but those won’t be the norm, and if they happen too often, it’s usually a sign of working on something comfortable rather than important."

This quote from Will Larson’s Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track puts it better than I could say myself.

While there’s not a strict number of days you should be coding, it definitely should not be the only thing you are doing at work.

Learn to zoom out

Think about the project you’re working on now and ask these questions:

  1. Does everyone involved in the project have the same understanding of what it means for the project to be “complete?”

  2. Are you setting regular small milestones/goals for the project?

    • If so, are they being met regularly? If not, why not?

  3. If anyone left the project suddenly for 2 weeks, would it fall apart?

  4. It’s your job as a leader to make sure a project goes out efficiently, quickly and with clear goals in mind. How can you make sure the team is all on the same page?

These questions are often hard because they deal with people (scary) and not just code.

What questions can you ask your team this week for better alignment?

If you give it a try, please let me know what you tried out.

Have a great week, and happy MLK day! 🖤 🇺🇸

Eden xx

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