Over the years my career has transitioned from hands-on engineering, to management, and ultimately product management. Back in 2010, to maintain some sense of technical relevance, I began dabbling in new, mainly open source, programming languages and frameworks. Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP, you name it, I was reading about it, installing it, running the samples, and moving on to the next thing.
But in 2012 I made the decision to stop dabbling and start focusing on one idea end to end, no matter how small or insignificant. I forced myself to play designer, engineer/qa and product manager all at the same time. Did I release a blockbuster iOS app? No, but I did get the satisfaction of taking an idea from concept to shipping, and shipping teaches you more than dabbling.
It teaches you about the headaches of actually getting something done on a platform, the idiosyncrasies of deployment, what makes a design usable, and the effort required to make something that you’re proud to share with your friends and family.
If you’re like me and wake up one morning with the feeling that you’ve lost that technical edge, resolve to just ship something. With an endless choice of cloud platforms and free, open source technologies, it’s never been easier, and you’re sure to benefit from the satisfaction and eduction of doing it.
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