Software Engineering Managers: Why Staying Involved With Coding is Necessary?

While many technology experts and software engineering managers enjoy new and intriguing management tasks as they advance in their careers, some still like the particular challenge of coding activity. In particular, many of them believe that maintaining excellent coding skills is necessary to stay current with the management tasks at hand. Additionally, many of them also think that writing code is a good approach to forge strong bonds with their team members.

In this article, we examine a number of useful tips for software development leaders to stay up to date as well as enhance their coding habits and also why it's crucial for software engineering leaders to know how to code effectively.

1. Take Advantage Of Your Competency

Even as you advance to managing various software projects, as a tech leader you should never lose sight of the fundamental competencies. Maintaining your coding talent will enable you to remain confident and improve the capacity to interact with your team members. As a tip, to sum up your working week and the tasks my team participated in, you should code, and this activity helps you to relieve tension, and you can code during free time for efficient concentration.

2. Contribute solutions to complex issues

When wearing your "tech leader hat", you can evaluate your coding productivity by the impact and encouragement you provide to other developers about various aspects of their works such as their coding style, design thinking, and algorithm, etc. For example, you may find yourself work better when collaborating with the team on implementing challenging modification logic or resolving those infrequent problems. Thus, it's can be helpful for IT leaders to get involved to set an example and raise the standard.

3. Schedule a considerable amount of coding time on your calendar.

The "flow" necessary for coding is frequently “destroyed” by distractions or when you start multitasking. Interruptions is your worst enemy when you're coding. How can you circumvent it? As a matter of fact, there are always interruptions, thus as leaders, you must continually shift gears. Your calendar should be blocked off for coding for full days or blocks of time.

It can be challenging to get undisturbed coding time while at work, coding in your own free time can also be a good option; You can also let yourself work on non-coding tasks on specific days of the week and there should be few exceptions existed (if any);

4. Take on extra non-critical projects

Giving yourself noncritical route coding projects outside of regular feature deliveries may allow you to keep your hands in the code. As an example: building, testing, or monitoring applications to measure product quality and usage to support everyone and it helps you to stay up to date with the product.

5. Determine the best time and place to code

There is no right or wrong answer to this because each tech leader will have a different most effective coding time depending on their timetables and preferences.

When it comes to motivation and productivity, everyone differs. It truly just depends; some people prefer to code in the morning while others work best at night. Know what works for you, and understand that it's alright if it differs from the standard or what works for your coworkers;
However, the following general advice could be helpful: Plan your coding sessions around the times of day when you feel the most focused and awake;

To maximize your coding abilities, try to code at the period of the day when you are usually the most awake and focused. A neighbourhood library, a coffee shop, or your home office are all good options for a peaceful, distraction-free environment to code. 

6. Intervene Whenever The Engineering Team Is "Stuck"

Tech leaders should be familiar with and understand the code. One of the most efficient ways to support and help your engineering team is to jump in and interact with them while they work through some of the most difficult and complicated code issues. The most effective approach will be to take this action when the engineering team is unable to make meaningful progress over a long time period.

7. Conduct regular code reviews

While continuing to code is entertaining and "fun" for technology leaders, it should also be noted that conducting regular code reviews with some of the programmers would be a better use of their time and would help them keep up their "coding skills." This improves connections even further and allows team members to benefit from the leader's vast expertise in creating the well-architected product;

Finally, you should conduct architecture reviews (e.g. once a week) to comprehend and remain updated on the systems' continual evolution;

8. Schedule Coding Time in Groups With Similar Tasks

Switching cost is one of the most significant productivity metrics. Due to some contextual changes, productivity falls when tasks must be altered while working. However, you can increase your attention span if you're able to group jobs with equivalent contexts (like coding, meetings, or documentation).

9. Spend Time In A Particular Issue

Generally speaking, when you code, it is often to tackle a specific problem that does not have a clear solution, and it takes significant time to analyse the issue and work out a solution and/or workaround that works. Even though you may put the pieces together in spurts, it is better to code when you are able to concentrate; When you have a block of time to focus on programming, and as a result, feeling creative, you can generate the finest solution.