AM I WORKING?

Between June 23 and August 16 I didn’t check in any files at work. In software development, a “check in” is a submission of work (usually changes to files or new files) to a central repository. If you were to look at my list of submissions in a kinda naive way, you’d think that I probably didn’t do any work for almost a month and a half. While you could use the frequency of submissions as some sorta productivity metric, the reality is that a lot of work can be done even if you’re not checking in files.

For the six weeks or so, I was busy troubleshooting existing live services that require external teams to make changes on my behalf. These won’t show up as submissions under my name. I was also doing investigations into things that we wanted to do but weren’t sure of the effort required to get them done. This type of work also doesn’t show up as files checked in.

I think when I was younger, I’d probably be worried if I saw I hadn’t checked in anything for almost two months but now I understand it’s not the only metric of how productive an engineer is. I only wish I had been on vacation for these six weeks!

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