Dan DiGangi - Software Engineering Manager, Tech Instructor/Mentor
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Joining Upright Education as a Part Time Software Engineering Instructor


Something New Begins

Almost 3 months ago now I was laid off from my engineering manager role at Active Campaign. It's left a big hole in my life. Work isn't the centerpiece of my life anymore but it is one of the biggest parts. My passion for engineering, leadership, building teams, etc. never seems to fades. It gives me energy when I wake up and keeps me going to the point it's hard to fall asleep. The energy feels boundless. It's something to be extremely grateful for.

Recently I was invited by Upright Education to sponsor a capstone project for a small team for 4. It's absolutely consumed me the past 3 weeks. The positive kind of consumption. When Paul N., Upright's senior software instructor, reached out an opportunity arose to get back at some level to what I love most.

The most important within that being coaching developers to success.

Upright's students are early stage developers building the blocks for a brand new career. It's hard to say the least. One of the toughest positions to be in right now is tackling the hurdle of getting your first dev job. My key role since being brought as a sponsor was to act as the business and product owner.

Spending time with the group and each student though my mentor side took over. Lessons ranging from what we do in the industry, how it works, and to how we build good software. You know I had to talk about SDLC, agile, and the lovely Jira/Confluence. 😂

I've loved every second and its even re-ignited my passion to code on the side. It's interesting how quickly I began feeling better about my career and myself. In full transparency my depression has had a hold on me for a couple weeks. I couldn't tell you exactly why but my instinct is missing my work and the structure was hurting me more than I realized.

Taking a lot of time off is great to a point but after awhile... not so great. At least for me. I honestly can't imagine the rich who are retired in full vacation mode. Work brings so much satisfaction to my life so it's hard to imagine a future without it. Even post-retirement.

Part Time Instructor

So, am I retiring from my day job? Absolutely not.

Upright asked if I was interested in a part-time role based on my experience + the success/feedback working with my capstone group. After some interviews and homework they offered me a spot teaching a software engineering cohort. It's at night so the hunt for the next engineering manager role doesn't stop.

I'll be teaching the MERN (Mongo, Express, React, Node ❤️) stack along with the E2E picture of the software industry the next 6 months. The lessons via their curriculum are the building blocks of being a developer but it won't stop there. I'm devising plans of how to expand what I teach or at least how to integrate other key lessons. I've had a lot of success in my career (with more to come) and I want to bring that to each and every student so they can yield their own.

Thanks for the opportunity Upright. I'm excited and looking forward to the first day.

re: Coding & Lessons

Getting back into code is an absolute must becoming a teacher. I've struggled since I left IC to get back to it. Leadership roles with less hands on capacity typically spend their technical skills on systems design and software design. Literally day 1 of teaching in React, Javascript, and Node to my group kindled a flame.

There's a post from October about a regex repo I had created here. Funny enough I said I don't typically share technical content but I have been. Nothing crazy but some. The repo has been renamed and expanded to cover "misc-code-things". I've been dropping random code and lessons I've taught.


If you have any requests, questions, or feedback please hit me up on Twitter, LinkedIn, or dandigangi@proton.me anytime.

I'm still actively looking for the right engineering manager role. If you have something please reach out. Any support including introductions is greatly appreciated.

- DD