It has been many years since I wrote code for a living, yet in my heart I always remained a bit of a coder.
It paid an important part in the two challenges I took upon myself with my new startup, Dynamic Yield: 1. Bootstrap it 2. Code the product all the way through its initial stream of revenues.
Why would I do that?
1. In the fast-paced technology world, it’s enough to stay out of touch for a couple of years to lose your edge. Coding reconnected me back to the sources of innovation, to developer blogs, open-source code stacks, gems like stackoverflow, and many other inspiring projects.
2. Coding is fun. It’s like puzzle-solving all day long. And you get paid for that! (or in my case, you justify it to yourself through value creation)
3. One of the things I didn’t like in my previous startups was the long months I had to wait for the engineering teams to complete the first version of the product. Now I am responsible for product shipment, and I’m so upset with my bugs I have no time being upset with product delays.
4. I was really scared of coding again: Will I be able to get up to speed again? where do I start? What programming language should I learn? So many things have changed in the past 8 years. I needed to overcome my fears.
So how does it go so far?
It’s going well. The beginning was very difficult. After two years of a very flexible lifestyle, I had to train myself to sit in front of a code editor for a full day. It’s also the reason why I was so active on Facebook in the past few months. An easy escape just a click away.
I chose to write our admin console in Ruby on Rails. Why? It seemed like a beautiful language and a great framework. It also has a large dedicated community, which should be a key factor in choosing your coding framework. The community’s value in invaluable. I spend at least 20% of my coding time googling solutions to problems I encounter. When I hit a wall, I post a question in stackoverflow and get immediate support.
It took me much more time than I thoughd to get up to speed again. Rails is a very flexible and open framework with a steep learning curve. It took me a good two months to reach a point where I felt comfortable using it.
And finally, I have a great co-founder, Omri Mendellevich, who provides moral support during frustrating coding days, configures source control the way it should be, and in general is in charge of the more sophisticated technical aspects of our product.
And I dare our future employees to rewrite any of my code. My code stays all the way to the end!