After 20 years of building software, I’m starting again, and leaving the software for others. The process began about 4 years ago when I gave up the coding and focused on product management.
I had come to the conclusion that, no matter how good I might be at programming, it did not matter if I was building the wrong thing. Approaching software building as product management rather than project management was a significant shift, and taught me many new practices. And the journey was not just my own, I was working with my whole development team too.
Over a period of years my team at Code Positive built a whole new practice. We shifted our approach from code to product and were able to communicate with our clients at a far deeper level. We had however still begun our engagement as techies — essentially at the very bottom of the digital pile in most organisations. No matter how good we could become at product management, we were still operating within organisations that had no real understanding of how to engage with “digital”.
So, after 20 years of building software, I’m starting again. I am however going back to my roots, to my real love, building organisations (of some form) that can actually adapt to the new opportunities ushered in by the rise of the internet.