by Cesare Rocchi

Architects should code

by Cesare Rocchi

I advocate for Tech Leads to spend at least 30% of their time coding.

Pat Kua source

That’s just one of the gems in the article. Even if it’s written by a guy that worked in a big company for twelve years, many suggestions are relevant also to solopreneurs.

I worked in the enterprise in the past. The first time was at a Java shop, building software for invoicing. I was in charge of creating UIs in ActionScript. All the architecture was already outlined. It was pretty rigid and I remember we had to bend over backwards pretty often to work around it. Only way later I discovered that the authors of the architecture hadn’t been coding for a few years.

The second time I was the architect. It was a pretty big iOS app. Since the team was small I didn’t push any particular architecture. I just wrote down some principle and a style guide. The project was delivered, after the deadline, but with no dramas.

I clearly remember one thing. I didn’t like it, because I wasn’t coding. The fear of loosing touch with the “reality of coding” was so intense that I used to build side projects during the weekend. It didn’t ship any of them, but at least I kept my mind fresh. Only recently I discovered the real reason. I didn’t miss coding. I missed building, making, creating, doing.

Architects should code, probably even more than 30% of their time. They need to get their hands dirty, to not loose touch with the real world made of compilers that are confused, servers that crash and stress induced by managers that push for impossible deadlines.

Coding is a skill. If you don’t use it, you loose it.