A Blog about my journey as as web developer

The Hours of a Web Developer

Growing up to hearing Dolly Parton’s song 9-5 I always thought that those were typical working hours.  Then I joined the Navy and that illusion was long gone.  After the navy I thought to myself , maybe now I can have just 8 hour work days.  And I did….sometimes.  It ended up being more like I only got paid for 8 hour work days in some cases…. but sure I could leave work at work and home at home.  Then I worked for a web hosting company where I had the ability at times to work from home.  Well now this didn’t help keep things separate.  Now if I needed something off my work computer I could just VPN in and grab it instead of waiting till I was in the office again.

It was this job though that rekindled my joy of coding from a few years earlier.  I forgot how much fun it was to create a web page and connect it to a domain and let it be out there for the world to see.  So I buckled down and got to teaching myself some new stuff.  Learned more about hosting, how that side of the websites work and even started playing with different types of hosting packages.  Due to my health and that companies inability to work with my limitations that I left them and started working in home health care, but with restrictions and a limited schedule as I was going back to school.

I did my research.  Looked at the different options out there for types of schools.  Not just for web development but for network engineering as well.  See I happen to have a knack for that stuff too.  So here I am in my late 30’s early 40’s embarking on a whole new career.  Going through 2 schools and holding down a job certainly wasn’t easy (COVID helped) but I did it.  I have more schooling that I want to do more things I want to learn, but I have come to understand that with my given career that’s a given.

I digress.  Since I started this amazing journey of becoming a Web Developer a few years ago, I have learned something important.  A Web Developers brain never turns off.  Yup it’s open 24/7/365.  Not complaining much as I often find the solution to a problem while I am not near the computer. It is just something I have come to realize.  The most interesting or maybe hardest part is the technology.  Don’t get me wrong being able to work from home is a dream come true.  Being able to connect with my job and talk to others via zoom is amazing at times, but it also means that I am rarely away from work.  More interestingly so is that because of the technology today even if I didn’t work from home the nature of how most companies Development teams work today means that I can always look at my work.  I am talking of course of Git.  Unless they use git services behind a VPN I can always log into and clone my work to my local computer.

Don’t get me wrong this is a good thing.  How cool is it that I can take a complicated project of code and with a few simple lines I can bring that code down to my computer and work on it.  Or that I can look up some open source code and play with that.  Git certainly is more powerful than many folks realize.  It’s idea of version control being it’s root purpose has in my opinion blossomed into so much more.  It makes working during a pandemic do able.  It means that I can take a sick day as in not go into the office (if I had one) but yet still get work done.  With commands like git blame I can even see who last messed with a document.  Was it me that screwed it up?  Or branching.  Almost like having our own version of the code in a special folder, yet still connected to the main code so once we get it working we can merge away.

So although the “shop” never closes for Web Developers stepping away from the code is important.  Knowing it will still be there when we return can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  If you are breaking into Web Development just know that it isn’t your typical 9-5 job that Dolly always sings about.  It’s a 9-5 in the office maybe, but 24/7/365 always available on our devices.  Some days those office days may end up being a whole lot longer than 9-5 too just so you know.  If that application goes down you can bet it will be all hands on deck to get it back up.

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