Daily Archives: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Programming as a second career

I enter image description herehave a good friend who has had a long and successful career in a very specific kind of Information Technology Services. He is retired from that now as the constant travel and search for new consulting opportunities are fairly onerous. He is older, but does not want to retire completely, so he wants to deviate his career to something that allows him to use his skills and experience in a way that will not require. In talking, he mentioned he has some ideas for niche software tools for which only someone with his level of experience would even know there is a need. But there is a big hole to fill for this because, although he has programmed and been in that world for decades, he has never been a production programmer himself.

He called me and asked me how I would go about it if I were him. Since he has many of the SQL skills he needs to do the job, he really only needs something to glue his idea together. I suggested he needed, as a mechanism to learn, to build a rough prototype of his product in Python. Then, he needed to go learn best practices and rewrite the thing a couple of times and have some experienced programmers do code reviews on what he is doing from the ground up based on the code reviews.

I told him a good language choice right now is Python. I hope this was all good advice. He has time on his hands and can take a year (or more) if needed to put this thing together. It sounds like my kind of project and I am a little envious. The combination of skills he has to do this are things I don’t have–he has domain skills and has identified a specific real need and he has the background to program in that domain with some intense preparation.