It's great being hands on again...

So I get to be hands on again.


I spent years in my last job working my way up the ranks from junior software engineer to engineer, senior, lead and then principal. I picked up a growing team peaking at about 10 folk. It became inversely proportional to the amount of hands on meaningful work I actually did. It was more about meetings, plans and justifying what you needed to do.  


I have always thought when a company employs you as an engineer they want you for your brilliant engineering skills, Then you do a good job and they promote you.... you then do less engineering, and they want you to deal with Faff (office politics, brown nosing, failings of others).  Your not trained in Faff and your not good at it but you manage.  So they promote you again and you do even less engineering and have to deal with more Faff (runny noses, time sheets, holiday forms). Before you know it your are promoted again and you find yourself as a engineering manager (a job you are not trained for) and you no longer do any engineering whatsoever.  So you are now doing a job you are not very good at and don't do any work that you are good at...


Now I am at ACC I'm back in the role where I am employed for something I am good at, I have no Faff to deal with, I get to do hands-on, meaningful work and I'm loving it.

I am in a small team involved with updating and creating a new website. My role is to create processes in the websites customer experience platform (CEP).


It's all part of a content management system (CMS) which seems like a whizzy bit of software. I have read somewhere that it is used by quite a few councils in the uk so it's well used and there are support services and forums for help if needed.


It doesn't take away from the hands-on-ness (couldn't think of a word) because it may be super whizzy but it is just a bunch of clever nuts and bolts and it is up to you to engineer solutions for the CEP processes.

So far I have been tasked with process and the workflows for the waste and recycling services. Which basically is a customer accessing the website giving their details making a request and behind the scenes the CEP process I program will automate the output of the requests. 


I have had a play with it this week and have processes working from end to end, generating tasks, emails and responses. There is some HTML and CSS involved and also some data structures to name and format.


Next week I have a couple of days formal training to attend on the CEP and also one on the CMS. The CMS is the front facing website part. 


It's the end of week 3 as web developer and I couldn't be happier. In fact all the people I am now working with seem happy. Perhaps it's contagious? 

I'm even happy with my commute even though it's part car and part bus and involves some walking. I drive for 15 minutes without getting stuck in traffic. I hop on a bus and have another 15 in to town. This mornings journey was a hydrogen bus, so calm and almost silent (Sitting on the bus I check my emails, plan for the day and write my blog). I then walk for 5 minutes. 


This week for Udny Solutions I did a training evening with a client to show them how to manage and update their website themselves. They were amazed how easy it is compared to their old flat HTML one. This was key for them wanting to make news updates and add new pictures themselves. It went well and I am super happy to hand over what I created. Roll on more opportunities like that. There is one more hopefully in the pipeline.


So yea that's me super chuffed to be hands on again. Thanks for reading 

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