logosLooks like I just passed a 5 year anniversary of my last post. I could just scrap this blog and start a new one, pretending I never got lazy, but that would be just dishonest.

In the meanwhile I’ve moved on from my director job at Salesforce. I’ve been leading test automation organizations first at Marin Software and  now at Vlocity, and spending a lot of time figuring out how to design and write scalable and maintainable test automation frameworks for enterprise scale web services.

I was lucky to work with some amazing engineers who helped me to reboot my long-forgotten SW development skills. And I was lucky that my employers let me focus on technical challenges in addition to managing my department.

I feel like I’ve learned more in the past 5 years of my career than the previous 15 years combined. I will try to commit most interesting of these lessons in articles over the next few months.

The most important lessons is this: It’s never too late to go back to your technical roots. Many good engineers become managers due to circumstances or misguided belief in that it’s what one has to do in order to progress in their careers. After few years of hiring, firing and overall managing you forget the kick-ass programming skills that made you successful in the first place. You start to feel like there is no going back.

Hogwash. I was out of the game for over 10 years and here I am, writing code and sketching designs just like in the good old days. Actually better, the intervening years have given me an incredible wealth of second hand experience on what works and what doesn’t. All I needed was a solid year of work to dust off my rusty skills and get familiar with the latest tools, technologies and trends.

Anyone can do it.