Tracking manager's work with git

in Culture 3 minutes read

The background

I have been using git for quite some time now. In the days, where engineering work consumed most of my workday, it was my weapon of choice for code versioning. Fortunately or not, about a year ago I was promoted to a manager position and I had to give away some coding fun for scheduling meetings in my calendar. Although I’m still trying my best not to be dragged away from technical tasks, sometimes I need to face weeks where I hardly open my IDE or console.

What also changed with my promotion was my perception of a productive day. Back in the good old “backlog” days I could look at the tasks I have closed and tell myself “that was a good day”. After the turn in my career path, I could spot less and less days where I could congratulate myself such an achievement. Tasks on the board with my face on them were not moving and I saw a constant decrease in the rate of my commits being pushed to company GitHub. I was busy all day discussing with my reports, making agreements, advising… but none of this was giving me this tangible feeling of a work being done—similar to when you move your task to “done” column.

I knew this was a false feeling. I was doing my job after all. I just needed some assurance of progress I have made—especially after long day filled with meetings. And then I came up with an idea to version my notes.

The solution

I have been doing notes before, but in tools dedicated for this kind of activity: Evernote, OneNote, bunch of text files. None of them however provided me flexibility to look back and track my progress. Then I thought about the old friend of mine, git.

First, I created a neat bash wrapper to make notes in files with timestamps:

$ cat bin/note 
micro ~/Documents/notes/$(date +"%Y-%m-%d")_$1

I have decided to use small console editor micro written in Golang. Inside the file I’m not using any particular style. Sometimes I use markdown, sometimes I don’t.

Second, I have written a cronjob that would run once a day, around 4pm and automatically check in my notes to local git repository with timestamp as a commit message:

commit e41e157afccb06e90679f6a98bfb4faab7e85587 (HEAD -> master)
Author: Łukasz Przybył <>
Date:   Thu Jun 6 16:10:05 2019 +0200


commit 7d522af9bef76291e1098fbba25ff9fa082d6584
Author: Łukasz Przybył <>
Date:   Wed Jun 5 14:37:03 2019 +0200


commit 65bf08b54e720cd1803210668e96a1dee86bd286
Author: Łukasz Przybył <>
Date:   Mon Jun 3 09:28:21 2019 +0200


The benefits

Now, I can start making notes right in my console and files will be stored in my homedir. note companymeeting will create a file ~/Documents/notes/2019-06-10_companymeeting.

And when I am feeling down and pointless about my work, all I need to do is git diff with commits from 2-3 days ago and I can see my desired tangible proof of progress I have done with my work.

Maybe it will help some of you, it sure did help me a lot!