I stopped programming about six years ago. That used to be my passion. At times I have missed it, but the company needs me in another capacity, so that’s what I do.
For a while I was sad about not programming because it felt like a waste for my hard won skills to sit idle, but recently I realized that those skills are indirectly being used. I advise our programmers all the time. It is almost as fun as programming. Maybe passing on my tricks to other programmers is a better use of my time than actually programming. This way there are enduring benefits through multiple people.
As I thought about this I noticed that everyone at Alien Skin is a teacher. We have a collegial environment where everyone shares knowledge freely. We are never embarrassed to say, “I don’t know,” and ask questions. We are always happy to stop what we are doing to answer questions. The business benefits are huge, but the main reason we work this way is because it would be depressing not to.