Do we now need to be full developers?

  • I initially got into the world of databases as I didnt enjoy hard core development - websites, javascript, asp.net etc just was not my thing

    It feels however that we are more and more being pushed into semi-developer roles.

    E.g. on my latest project, some functionality requires creation of azure functions. The MS documentation makes this seem trivial until I have to find the documentation to connect to Keyvault, connect to graph, use azure identity. suddenly a few functions that should have taken a week are now taking multiple weeks due to a huge amount of learning required, and the fact that i am not the worlds best coder.

    I find im enjoying my job less and finding it much more stressful, every project has me feeling like a total noob, starting from scratch.

    Is this just the way of the future, that the amount to learn has increased exponentially and most of us are going to be new a lot more things in new projects?

     

  • I can't speak about becoming full developers but we're currently in the process of migrating to AWS.  As part of this, I've found myself building Windows Failover Clusters and working on the proof-of-concept for the Infrastructure-as-Code side of things. I had no idea about any of this when I started and it's been a steep learning curve for me.  I'm all for gaining broader experience but I've also been very vocal about it not being my job and somebody else really should be marking my homework.  I'm technically a Business Intelligence Analyst but actually more of a general SQL Server dogsbody, definitely not any form of Windows technician.

    I think it's the nature of our business that there'll always be new skills to learn but there's also going to be points where we perhaps need to stop and say 'no'.  I'm always keen to pick up new strings to my bow but there have been occasions recently when I've realised my limit and said that it's been time for one of the in-house experts to take over.  When I was asked to write about the network requirements, firewall rules and IP addressing, I dug my heels in and said "that's Bob's job".  We're a big enough operation that there are other people around who know about what I was doing and, to be honest, they probably should have been doing it from the outset.  However, when I move on I've got experience that I can take elsewhere and I might end up being the only person who's touched AWS or Windows Clusters.  I won't be an expert but I'll know at least something.


    On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
    —Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

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  • Quote Neil:

    However, when I move on I've got experience that I can take elsewhere and I might end up being the only person who's touched AWS or Windows Clusters.  I won't be an expert but I'll know at least something.

    Thanks Neil for the reply.

    I thought this initially, its good experience for whenever i move to a new role, but thinking it through, I dont want to be hired into a new role because i know a tiny bit about azure functions, or crm proxies or whatever, and if they are what gets me a new role, its likely going to be more of the same.

    I am 100% a proponent for continuous learning, but being a noob all the time due to having to cover many new areas and technologies is draining! Ive been burnt out before, i dont want to repeat that!

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  winston Smith.

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