Time has gone by faster than I expected. At this point I have been back as a full time developer individual contributor for about six months. It had been about 2 years since I did any Java development and the getting back into it was harder than I expected. It doesn’t help that the Java projects here are large and the system is massive. We have dozens of Java services with 100,000s of lines of code and we integrate into a lot of core business systems outside of our organization. This is the most complicated project I have worked on personally, with problems spanning from prices, voice UI, internationalization of voice UI, international law and massive java projects.
The Software Development Lifecycle here is very mature and the best way to work I have come across in the business world so far. We practice what could be described as ‘informal agile’ We have sprints and stories and quarterly goals like many places. Compared to the Scaled Agile Framework we have a laughable amount of process. It took me a few months to realize that my open calendar was here to stay.
Java is a mature language with lots of support for anything you could imagine, but it is still a painful language to use. On the flip side, I have finally figured out how annotations work. And I have been experimenting with Lombok. I have returned to the world of XML configuration and spring (not boot).
All the less fun part of development is back too. Really long builds, massive numbers of dependencies. Pull request churn so you have to rebase your changes constantly. But I get to write code again and my technical expertise is increasing again instead of declining.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my transition back into development. Would I have done it for a pay cut, no. But since it came with an increase I am in a pretty good place.