Saying Goodbye

My adult “career” has largely been focused on a single project, although I did have a stint working on something else for a year and a half.  I’ve begun the long slow goodbye to this 8-year project.  It was good and I grew a lot.

This is a summary of eight years of effort.  ~250,000 lines of code.

Project Code Metrics


That’s a lot of complexity for one guy to both write and maintain.  And it didn’t happen in a vacuum.  I was a battle surgeon to a soldier that had to fight even as I operated.  Indeed, I wasn’t just surgeon, but soldier too.

And so I’ve had to begin the slow dance towards the exit.  I can see clearly an institutional pattern at the company that prioritizes growth over consolidation to the point that there has never been a period of consolidation.  It’s always “just around the corner”, even as the current efforts push that corner ever further away.  Oh, Rome.

I can see clearly now where things are heading.  There will never be a chance to rework it into something I’m unequivocally proud to say: I wrote that and it represents what I am and is a good solution for this domain.  Just as there never has been.  The years of plopping module on top of module, of interruptions while building one module to build another, is not anomalous: it is the personality of the organization itself.

Which is all well and good.  No hard feelings.  But it was time to recognize that it was well past time to find a situation that is more in line with who I am and who I’m growing into.

I’m a Princess Programmer


I’ve been programming professionally for eight years now.  Something I encountered early on was the non-programmer business professional’s appraisal that programmers are “princesses”.  I always bridled at that, but now I identify.

I actually don’t have the time to write a pretty blog post.  I never do anymore.  Nevertheless, I’ll just say that being a “princess programmer” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The very thing that makes a programmer a “princess” is the very thing that makes them good.

For instance, I realized, I don’t like to program without 4 monitors, 3 of which must be in portrait mode.  Also, I require a mechanical keyboard with at least two mice, left and right, at least one of which is a Logitech smooth scroller.  I prefer my keyboard to be “10 keyless” (no numpad).  I also have expectations about the speed of my computer and my graphics card and the updatedness of the programs I use to program programs.

I am a princess programmer.

But… I am also absurdly effective.  I’m worth two of me.  I am good at developing workflows, yours and mine.  I have workflows that I use to develop your workflows.  I develop workflows at levels of detail that bring you to tears.  I develop workflows at the level of my workflow-building tools.

Understandably, my tools are important to me.  My various hammers beat out your various hammers.

Call us princesses.  Call us soldiers.  You can’t win your war without us.  Don’t complain about how sharp we’ve become accustomed to our swords being when you expect us to cut through iron.