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Its all engineering, but not all of engineering

yes and no
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.

Venn Thingy

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.

About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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