This short story is all about the absolute joy you can experience as a Developer. I wrote it to share what it is that I miss sometimes, now that I’ve taken on a different path these last years. I wanted to write it down to share a combination of feelings that I miss that other developers might recognise as well and can cherish even more because it is written down. Hopefully this blog brings a smile to your face if you’re a developer, and can even be something that you can rely on in darker times. When those blasted builds just won’t go green, tests won’t pass, or production is not the happy place that it should be.

A bit of context

It has been a while since I’ve last had the honor of working as a Developer in a Software Development team. Founding JCore over five years ago from a sense of passion for (Software) Development, community building, enthusing Developers and resonating heavily with the philosophy that JDriven is built on, I took a different path. A path with its own very joyful moments (and challenges). But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss developing software! "The Perfect Afternoon" illustrates the things that I miss. Followed by a list of common things that you might recognise as well.

The Perfect Afternoon

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. You’ve been coding on a feature and (finally!) solved it in a way that just feels good. The tests that accompany the code are simple and elegant. Not only that, they actually Pass! You run a mvn clean install. It’s successful. You check the git status, review the code that you’ve written, and you put in some finishing touches. You commit the code (with an obviously very good and witty commit message that everybody will instantly get) and with a sense of pride you git push. The push succeeds (not always a given) and you see the pipeline for your feature branch spinning up to eagerly let you know whether it thinks your code is worthy.

You look up from your IDE and keyboard and realize you’ve been coding on that new feature for a couple of hours. There is a cup of coffee on your desk that has apparently cooled down to a point that it now passes as an iced coffee.

You create a Pull Request, do one last check on the diff, and add a couple of reviewers. One last final check, and you click Create.

With a feeling of contentment and tranquility you stand up, grab your iced coffee and head toward the coffee machine to go get yourself a fresh cup of steaming coffee. That build is going to be green anyway…

Things I Really Miss

A non-exhaustive list of things I really miss:

  • Just focussing on that one story throughout the day (or three!)

  • Getting the ssh keys to work for a repository after figuring out (again) how that works

  • A successful mvn build

  • A green build

  • Seeing “your” feature running live in production

  • Sprint demos where all stories are done (in a qualitative way ;) )

  • Review code and learn from fellow developers

Things I Miss Less

A non-exhaustive list of things I miss less. It’s basically the inverted version of the list above :) Which made me realize that the highs and lows of being a software developer are tightly coupled ;)

  • A feature that you thought would take 30 minutes and you have been working on for a day…or three…

  • Not getting ssh keys to work

  • Mvn builds that don’t work

  • Packages and tools that don’t work anymore after updating them

  • Red builds

  • Seeing your feature bring down production

  • Sprint demos when your feature just brought down production or you just couldn’t get that story / feature / change to work

  • Managers breathing down my neck to finish that killer feature

It’s a beautiful craft

I hope that this little blog on Developer happiness (and sorrow) has been a well of recognition. I love my job and what I do every single day (…well 99%). But as I’ve said, I honestly do miss developing code now and then… With this short story I’ll have something to read once in a while and reminisce about.

It’s a beautiful craft, enjoy every moment of it.