As a full-time web developer, one starts getting burnt out after a while. One works with the same team – no matter how magnificent it is – and in the same place – no matter how cozy it is. Going to work everyday becomes a habit and the dimming light of inspiration slowly fades away.
On the other hand, developers working on well established base-code for products are hardly given a chance to test their software architectural skills. Everything was pre-built and templated. Brownfield projects are great for productivity. However, a developer needs to test his ability to start a project from scratch every now and then.
Breaking The Habit
Ever since my first programming days back somewhere between 2009 and 2010, I was aware of the problem. I never wanted to end up being the coder who writes CRUD everyday and then goes back home. Hence, I’d share with you a few hints to avoid being burnt out at work.
Events and Workshops
I find attending local events very healthy to the social life, business networking and technical skills. One should attend events covering tools, techniques, methodologies like agile, and startup incubators. It boosts one skills in an unimaginable way. It shares the know-how unconsciously among the attendees. I’ve been in a few situations when I recalled a solution presented in one of such events and adapted it to a problem at hand.
Being the guest is not the only way, being the host is also a unique experience. I started organizing small workshops and sessions for colleagues and younger developers. Not only was it helpful to the community, but also I was motivated to research more often and stay up to date. I had to proof the material well before presenting it to my new audience. It’s also unbelievably inspiring to be with passionate developers who share the same interests as you do.
A valid technique to keep your mind fresh and never lose grasp of how to build an application from ground up is to keep a side project. On the week-ends and Saturday nights, one should experiment an idea of his own or prototype the next generation application he’s always dreamt of.
Not many project managers would agree with me on this point, because they want their team to be extremely focused on their work for productivity and delivery. However, freelancing exposes the team members to experiences from oversees and methodologies of continuous integration and deployment.
How I became interested in Toptal?
I was recently introduced to a freelancers platform named Toptal – toptal Web engineering network. The first thing that attracted me is the blog which I used as a reference sometimes for my small workshops. Then, on one of the events I was attending about agile methods, a new acquaintance briefed me about how he uses Toptal. I loved how he had to write his code using up to date tools such as AngularJS, ReactNative, or CoffeeScript. Then, he had to write unit tests for the task at hand before submission using Jasmine or Moca.
There may be numerous other techniques to break the habit. I encourage you to share these tips and tricks with me and everybody around you in your communities. Online platforms recruiting technology experts have emerged and peaked. Just to name a few; Toptal, AirPair, and CrossOver. Feel free to add your favorite to the list.