Software engineers start here, this is your journey to becoming a great software engineer.
You are a good software engineer but “Good is the enemy of Great”, says American business consultant, author, and lecturer, Jim Collins.
You can become a great software engineer. If you know, how to unlock the secrets of the software industry? Change your mindset. Change your way of thinking. Do that and you will be treated like a genius. The software industry is looking for a genius. They want a genius to work for them at every level and in every position.
Give me a chance to show you how you can become a genius? How can good engineers, mediocre engineers, even bad engineers become great? This is my mission, my mission is to turn “Good engineers to great.”
And we will unlock the genius within you, but before I can do that, I need to talk to you about two things. One is the kind of artist you are and other is about the quality of this artist.
Software Development is a craft and you are an artist. Everyone who creates a software is an artist. You may ask, Why an artist? and What kind of artist, are you like Michealangelo or Picasso? We will come to that but before that, I want to talk a little bit about this tribe.
The Tribe of a software engineer.
You are part of the genius, talented, hardworking and purposeful people of the world. Let me explain to you why the world has this image about you?
Building software is the work of a genius. You are like a creator. You make something from nothing. You design. You develop. You build. Everything that requires no less than a genius. So you are a genius.
Every software engineer is talented. You have a talent of learning. You have a talent of understanding requirements. You have a talent for communicating your ideas. You have a talent for building. You have many more talents. So you are talented.
During his lifetime every software engineer has seen 60 – 80 hour work weeks. You work on projects that are never ending with a hope that you will see light at end of the tunnel. The tunnels are very very long. You have to really work hard to see the light. So you are hardworking.
Who benefits from your work? Everyone else ! Everyone’s life easier because of you. You help in improving their efficiency and productivity. You have devoted your life to making this world a better place. What can be more purposeful than that? So you are purposeful.
So as a part of the software engineers tribe you are a genius, talented, hardworking and purposeful individual of the world. You are a creator of the software. The same software that fuels technology that runs this world.
I am proud of you. I admire you. And salute you.
You and every other software engineer who is part of this tribe that is out there changing the world one line of code at a time.
I have myself been part of that tribe for a very long time and understand very deeply what it means to be a software engineer. How many sacrifices you need to make so that the world is able to fulfil their needs and sometimes their dreams. All of that is only possible because of your great work.
Let us come back to, Why an artist? and What kind of artist, are you like Michelangelo or Picasso?
The artist in software engineer.
When I say you are an artist, I do not mean like a Michelangelo or Picasso, but more like Orville and Wilbur. You are like the Wright Brothers disguised as software engineers.
Michelangelo was great. Known for his sculpture of David. Today after 500 years he is still remembered. But as an artist, his mastery was in making a sculpture. He was inspiring and motivating, everyone would like to become a master like him.
Similarly, Picasso was great. Known for his modern approach to painting. He was considered a genius. But as an artist, his mastery was in creating beautiful paintings. He was inspiring and motivating, everyone would like to become a genius like him.
Both were an artist and we can be inspired by their work and learn a lot from their life but they did not solve any problem of the world that could change the course of the world in any way.
Now, let us think about the Wright Brothers because they were different.
They were pioneers who are generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s the first successful aeroplane. They were not the only ones who were trying but in 1903, where everyone else failed these two succeeded.
They solved the most important problem of the world. How to travel from one place to another by air? This changed the way we can now travel across the world.
This single problem they solved gave us wings to fly. We can travel across cities, countries and continents around the world. We can experience different cultures, connect with different people and live in different places. All because of the one problem that Wright Brothers solved.
The problems that are solved by a software engineer.
The Wright Brothers were artists who changed the world.
And you are like the Wright Brothers. You can change the course of the world with the software you build.
Maybe you are writing software to build the next biggest shopping platform in the world. Maybe you are tweaking software for a bank so that it can process millions of dollars within milliseconds. Maybe you are just building a software for a school so that children can start learning online in remote parts of the world. Maybe you are processing images of chromosomes and their pairing that will help in finding the cure for cancer. Maybe you are building a software that will control the rocket that will take you to mars and bring you back.
Whatever big or small projects you are working on you are directly impacting the technology and advancement in the world.
And so you are like the Wright Brothers. You are the artist who builds software that runs this world.
The software engineer is integral to every business.
Today I cannot find anything that does not have your hand in it, the hand of a software engineer.
You are now an integral part of every business.
You are not just valuable to the Software Companies but every other company in every other industry that we can think of. You and your skills are so important to the world, that the world will need more than a million software engineers in coming years.
Stop ! Just think about that.
The world will need a million new software engineers in days to come. Where do you fit into that number? Are you a one of the million?
Do you think it is easy to produce a million software engineers? No, it is not. With all the universities combined around the world, this will not be possible.
Does it mean you are indispensable? Is all your fear of losing your job or the insecurities of working in software industry unwanted?
NO ! Absolutely not.
The one problem software engineers face today.
There is a very big problem we are facing. Maybe you are not facing but certainly, more than 70% to 80% software engineers face this.
And that is a problem of quality. The quality of the software engineer.
We have a lot of good software engineers but the industry needs a lot of great software engineer. You cannot be just a good software engineer, you need to push yourself to become a great software engineer.
It is no longer enough to know only one programming language, what you need is to know the entire stack of technologies that interact with each other so that you can build robust, cutting edge, disruptive and beautiful software. One time and every time.
This is the single biggest problem we are facing as software engineers. And we need to be great in everything we do.
The most important question today is, What makes some software engineers great vs others that remain good?
The good ones generally struggle. They have problems in making their ends meet. They have problems in retaining their jobs. They have a problem in growth and achievement in their careers. They have problems in finding great projects.
Even good software engineers are constantly working on medicore projects and their skills are getting outdated before they can make a leap.
This is a big problem and there needs to be some solution. The good software engineer need something that will show them how to become a great software engineer?
We will find a solution to this, but let us understand,
What the industry experts say about a software engineer?
The industry experts have an opinion about software engineers. And it does not paint them in a good light.
Mark Zuckerberg thinks there aren’t enough talented engineers today.
“Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today,” says Mark Zuckerberg Founder, Facebook
Senator, Marco Rubio says how programmers are in greater demand in every business and their shortage across the industry.
“Computer programmers are in great demand by American businesses, across the tech sector, banking, entertainment, you name it. These are some of the highest-paying jobs, but there are not enough graduates to fill these opportunities,” says Marco Rubio Senator, Florida
CEO, John Fallon, talks about a shortfall of one million computer programmers in America alone.
“By 2020 there will be a shortfall of more than one million computer programmers in America alone. So I’m encouraged by any initiative that gives young people the skills they need to create, build, and be competitive in the 21st-century workforce.” says John Fallon, CEO of Pearson
CEO, Josh Walsh points out a shortage of quality software talent.
“Of all the places I’ve travelled over the past few years, there has been a shortage of quality software talent,” says Josh Walsh, CEO of Designing Interactive. source
Global Software Leader, Mark McCaffrey thinks it is a global war for talent.
“The competition for key skills and experience has become a global war for talent. Large vendors are expanding to regions beyond their typical recruitment grounds in search of top-flight engineers, programmers, and executives.” Mark McCaffrey, global software leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) source
Everyone is saying that technology is changing and growing quickly. Faster than our software engineers can keep up with. So there is a shortage of great talent in the industry. And as per rough estimates, there will be a shortage of one million talented software engineers in America alone, no idea what it will be when we combine this globally. But there is a shortage of talent and shortage of great software engineers.
Companies are facing a hard time in building new software or releasing important upgrades to existing systems. And because of that, all the energy is spent on finding talent while ignoring innovation.
The problem and the solution.
In the above quotes from industry leaders, there are many messages. Shortage of Talent, Competition for Key skills and experience, Offshoring, Changing Technology, Continuing education and Innovation. And much more . . .
The message is loud and clear. We can no longer afford to be good software engineers but we have to become great software engineers.
The great software engineers are the ones who can easily work for the best software companies. Those who don’t need to find the right jobs because companies will come hunting for them. Those who can deliver the best software in the shortest time possible. Those who can change with changes in technology. Those who are at the centre of innovation and advancement of technology.
Above all engineers who strike gold in their careers and are paid 3x to 4x times more than their good peers.
During the 20 years in software industry, I had the privilege to meet some such great engineers. And I studied them closely. What I found is that they had a totally different approach and mindset. And it was this mindset that helped them in being perceived as great.
I started sharing my findings with some of the good software engineers.
That is when I could see the transformation of a good engineer to a great engineer. The engineers were able to raise their value to a level where the company started treating them like great software engineers.
That is the kind of transformation I want to see for you and every other software engineer who is good.
My mission is to help software engineers who are good or mediocre or even bad into becoming a great software engineer. I will be doing this by sharing ideas, insights, tools and tactics that will transform them from good to great. And I want to do this in the easiest and best way possible for you.
So what do we do next?
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