I write code, but I am not employed as a "Software Engineer", "Web Developer" or any other role that is primarily focused on developing software. My current role is "Technical Program Manager Consultant", and before that I was a "Logistics/Operations Manager" but I was also responsible for managing the company's multiple web assets. While this may seem odd to some, I think it's actually more common than we think, especially in small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) outside of the tech industry, as they still need technical work done (building/maintaining websites, business process automation, etc.) but may not have the budget to afford an agency or would prefer to keep the work in-house. However, despite this most likely common practice, there seems to be a severe lack of representation across the industry. Instead, what we see are tutorials written by full-time software engineers and developers, for full-time software engineers and developers. The reason I feel this is an issue, and why I created Dev-ish, is that people that only work on code for a portion of their work fundametally approach it in a different way.
Create a process for sending an approval request and then perform some actions after that approval is granted or denied.
Software Engineer response
They would most likely choose their preferred coding language and start building some type of service or application. Surely they would spend time determining the best language and/or tech stack to use for the job, based on many factors such as team familiarity, performance requirements, etc., but they would absolutely end up choosing to write code.
"Part-time coder" response
They would probably consider what tools are available to them, including but not limited to code, and choose the tool that is easiest to implement and maintain, which would very likely be a low/no-code tool such as Power Automate these days. There may be other factors that preclude low/no-code tools as an option, so they might choose to write code, but it would be considered more as a last resort, rather than the default.
To be clear, the purpose of this article is not to advocate for everyone to use low/no-code tools and stop writing code. The point is that there are many people that write code as part of their job, but they also have many other tasks that have nothing to do with code, so they need different advice and tools: this is what "Dev-ish" is all about. My goal is to provide information and guidance from the perspective of someone that writes code when necessary, but also spends a large portion of my time not writing code, so that other prople like me can provide better results to our stakeholders, plan our work more efficiently, and generally succeed in both worlds without feeling uncomfortable in either.
If my description of a "part-time coder" sounds like you or one of your colleagues, I encourage you to subscribe to this newsletter. I post new articles every Tuesday (because I know how busy Mondays already are) on various topics such as:
Cloud Administration and Development
Microsoft Power Platform tools and concepts
Accessibility, Privacy, and Security
My hope is that we can grow a community of working professionals that can share knowledge, advice, and encouragement for the betterment of us all. "A rising tide lifts all boats".