Today in the Tech Lead Mentoring group, Sarah* mentioned that next Tuesday her team was having a “no code day.” Suddenly it got quiet, as everyone stopped to listen.
I asked, “Oooh… what’s that Sarah?” Sarah explained that a “no code day” was a day set aside to work on non-coding engineering activities. Some folks were going to clean up Jira and log files. Others were going to triage trouble tickets, and others would look to see which frameworks/languages had available upgrades.
She compared it to the fact that changing your car’s oil now prevents problems later. I have to agree with her.
Coding is all engineering, but not all of engineering.
Coding is all engineering. Everything about coding is within the Engineering circle.
But coding is not all of the Engineering circle. Other things happen inside Engineering that is are not coding.
A “no coding day” changes your team’s focus, helping them realize their job is not just to code. After all, they are probably the “Engineering” team, not the “Coding” team. They are responsible for all of the Engineering circle. Work outside of coding needs attention as well. It needs to be prioritized, tracked and completed just like coding work. After all, just because it’s not coding doesn’t mean it’s not engineering.
Have you tried it?
Do you have “no code days”? Could you?
What other parts of the engineering circle need your team’s attention?
*names have been changed for privacy purposes.