10 May 2023 marked my 2-year anniversary in Bash. I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but I've been putting it off. I've been putting it off as I've struggled to figure out how to describe what I've been through. It's undeniable that we've managed to start on a multi-year journey to build industry-leading technology, but in that time I've struggled to find the wins between the fog of war.
When I started at TFG, most software development was outsourced. The team was small, and the technical decisions were made 'in the boardroom' by non-technical managers and stakeholders instead of by engineering leaders.
We've come a long way since then – we've managed to mostly move away from outsourcing and proprietary closed-sourced technology, building a team of 60+ engineers and engineering managers, built a strong leadership structure and understand where we want to go.
Even with all this progress, I find myself in a bit of a slump – for the past 6 months I’ve been more of a ‘crisis engineer’ jumping into action when there’s an incident on an impediment in a project. This is a difficult job, as many of the systems involved in these incidents require a lot of TLC (due to the historical context of non-technical managers dictating the technical roadmap). I’ve found that I spend a lot of my time trying to influence teams to simplify older systems and reimagine them, but this is where the challenge lies.
The challenge for me over the coming months will be to move from a ‘crisis engineer’ role to one of influencing teams in their journey. It’s not going to be an easy one (if the last 2 years are anything to go off), but it will be a real test of my skills not only as a coder but as a technical leader.