Christopher T. Miller

Reboot Camp


I’m on a retreat this weekend learning to code. I’ve dubbed this Reboot Camp.

“But Chris,” you say, “you’ve been a developer for 20-some years. You know how to code.”

My counsel to you, if you said this, is that we can always get better, and sometimes we need to sharpen some dulled skills.

Moving into management isn’t a promotion, it’s a career change. I changed my career almost a decade ago, and while I still have technical skills, my knowledge is a list of things that I’ve done on the job or on projects. It’s useful and renewing to ignore that old knowledge and go back to the beginning.

And so, this morning, I’m in a second-floor AirBNB in Tremont (above Fat Cats, where I plan on having brunch later today), learning HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Do I know how these work? Sure, but I’ve got assumptions which need to be tested for validity. These assumptions have become mental cruft. Watching the way code is taught, and by extension, the way it is thought about today (as opposed to when I learned oh-so-long-ago on The Internet That Was) is enlightening. I pick up new things I’ve not considered simply because I’m not creating code every single day.

I’m planning to spend the rest of the year doing these sorts of things; going back to the beginning to both tread old paths and find new ones. It’s liberating, and I’ve been delighted to find that the world of crafting code still fascinates me.