I have a rather unusual question.
I am a software engineer and have a grad degree in CS. During school, i enjoyed the courses immensely. I liked diving deep into the mathematical foundations that make all the tech possible today. I liked the mathematical essence behind all the areas of CS right from OS to ML to Graphics and more.
In industry however, i see that i do extremely menial work that doesnt tap into any of the rather deep scientific work i am capable of. Most of the days, i am tweaking environment variables etc to achieve the desired results.
Its rather depressing because thats not what i trained for. Even senior engineers (principals etc) do largely these type of work primarliy, on any given day.
Is that all a tech career as an engineer at a large company comprise of? Is there ever gonna be any use of the real CS that we learnt?
Disclaimer: i am down down beers. :p But the questuon is real. The amount of brain work that’s needed in industry has turned out to be very low, and thus the disillusion and the question.
TC: ~ 190k
I have a rather unusual question.
- If your day job is paying the bills but is not giving you intellectual fulfillment, you always have the option of working on side-projects to bridge that gap.
Regarding your views about engineers in general, I do detect some mild level of contempt for the work that they do.
The engineers that built the platform and service from zero to one at your company solved a lot of hard problems to pave the foundation for the system that you work with today. They may not have had the liberty to work on theories looking for a problem but they nonetheless built something that created business impact and formed the foundation to generate revenue streams and jobs for many people. Many of these engineers were in the frontlines and were the first to venture into the unknown to clear the forest so that all your have to do today is to tweak some environment variables to get the desired results. As such, it would be a mistake to trivialize the road these people have paved for you as an engineer.
- Hey, I am extending no disrespect to the founding and initial engineers who architected the system from grounds up.
My question had no contempt but rather a dismay at the situation that I find myself at, doing rather maintenance work over innovative work, that I feel I am capable of.
It’s a personal situation and not indicative of all engineers and what they do.
I guess if I start up I will get to do all that I desire.
But yeah, my question more or less pointed to the mismatch between the capabilities that we develop as CS grads and the ultimate work that we end up doing. :)
- Amazon CeoExtraI know Amazon would hire you tomorrow for 1M TC if they know that Prime Air software system is so easy and menial for you. DM me so that I can get the referral bonus.
I’m nervous though worrying if we’d be able beat your competing offers from GoogleX, Uber ATG, and Apple 😟😟
- You have to prove yourself worthy to given a critical work. When billions of dollars gonna ride on your shoulders all theories will vanish from your brain and u will piss ur pants ... Then experience will come for your rescue. .. untill u gain that kind of experience obey the chain of command be useful to your employer ... If u can't do that open your own start up and do all the science and stuff with your own money ... Workday has hired you to do what a CRM needs. ..
- New / R&D han5grüberFirst I'll say that most jobs suck and aren't that interesting.
In my experience there are two types of engineers, builders and theorists. The builders get off on making stuff and seeing the product work and usually use a lot more of experience based or practical knowledge. A theorist will be much more interested in knowledge generation and research. Sounds like you might be the latter. However, keep in mind that there are fewer of these jobs and are typically reserved for labs and academia, the route will be a PhD.
On the other hand, I used to think the domain wasn't as interesting as the types of problems. Over time I've realized that a good problem that maximizes ad revenue is not nearly as exciting to me as something founded in natural sciences. So maybe look at the quantum stuff or BCI, or biotech, or climate change type companies.
My advice, if you're young, and only research positions will.make you happy, get the PhD. Forget the naysayers on here who bi1tch about opportunity cost and TC, they'll never understand it.
- Microsoft / Eng cpp20Google, IBM, Microsoft are working on quantum computing. Plenty of hard problems to solve. Try also database engines, they are pretty hard and CS heavy.
- Oath mealFirst, you can get into some research positions with a master's degree. Second, you may be able to do some side gigs in academia - supervising projects, being a research asistant etc. If you have the time and skills, I'm sure some professors will like that kind of help, and who knows where that could lead you. Lastly, you'll find a lot of math in scientific computing. National labs, companies that make planes or missiles, pharma companies that look for new drugs etc. Check out companies involved in supercomputing/HPC conferences for starters. They might not pay as much as a faang, but if that's the kind of work you like, it will make you happier.
- New / Eng aHDu88Engineering's/development != computer science. You enjoy computer science. Do research at a computer research lab. Go work at Oak Ridge National Lab or JPL or something. Work on language/compiler development or quantum computing. Those are actual computer science fields. If that's what you're looking for software development is going to drive you up a wall.
- New mvppppppppI think you might have too much beer. Others have mentioned Google, Microsoft, IBM etc. There’s plenty of interesting work even at Uber. Doesn’t mapping jump out to you? Go to those companies if your current one doesn’t have interesting challenges to solve.
Environmental variables should be set and left there btw. I don’t think it’s common that you have to manually tweak it to get what you want. That’s a devops issue you have, and not that the industry doesn’t utilize enough brain power.
Good luck finding better companies or projects!
- Also as a follow-up to that has anyone implemented any graph traversal algorithms in production code, if yes what was the usecase?