June 2, 2015parttime dev please
This is a blog post to advocate for something that is generally frowned upon in software development. If you want to join the angry crowd and throw rotten tomatoes, you are welcome to.
Now I’ve never had trouble finding jobs in the past when I was looking for full time work, but recently I’ve had a change of heart. I decided that in order to avoid getting stuck on one problem, one team, one process and building stress over the imperfection that lies in between, I would keep myself occupied with more than one project.
Now I may not be the best developer that ever lived, but I’ve worked several years in the industry and I’ve gotten 98 LinkedIn profile views in the last 90 days and get a message about a development job every day or two without any outbound searching, so there is a good chance I’m not the worst.
Aside from the companies I have good personal relationships with already, employers are allergic to part time contracts. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t hard to see why. The arguments given in the answer to this closed StackExchange question are completely valid, but I would like to make a case for part time development.
There are many reasons to go after part time development contracts that don’t involve being lazy. In my case, it is to keep my mind fresh and avoid tunnel vision.
When we stare at a problem too long we lose perspective on it, we focus on details that don’t matter, we get caught up on things that aren’t worth our attention.
When we step away and come back to a problem after thinking about something else, our minds are refreshed and we can think objectively about it.
This principle is complicated by the fact that a whole team is focused on the same problems for long periods of time. Disagreements are bound to surface, stubbornness is bound to win out over reason, and politics will likely decide the outcome.
I’m not saying we ditch full time contracts/jobs, I’m just suggesting we let those who want to step back and refresh their outlook do so.