What is success for a software engineer

Microsoft tOvS15
Jul 11 18 Comments

What metrics define success for a software engineer? I'm talking computer science majors. Getting degree was first checkpoint, getting a good job another, getting into a big tech company is another. Improving or iterating a product created by someone else which is inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things.

Is it TC? If so what is the pinnacle of TC? Early retirement? Then what do we do with all the knowledge and skills? Or is it academics? Researching, teaching, getting published, leaving a mark in the world of academia maybe? Starting your own company?

Team sport athletes have world cups, athletes-olympics. A lot of scientists dedicate their lives towards winning a Nobel prize. I'm not saying everybody is good enough to play the world cup, or that all scientists are Einstein, but there are so many who spend their lives just trying. What do we aspire for?

Rant over.

TC 200k
Yoe 3

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Passing unit tests
    Jul 11 2
  • Amazon sde
    Success is a balance of 3 things:
    1. Good work life balance,
    2. High TC,
    3. Interesting projects
    Jul 11 1
    • Microsoft tOvS15
      OP
      But these are things that any working person would expect from his job. This will not make you a successful software engineer?
      Jul 11
  • New / Mgmt wwkd
    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!
    Jul 11 0
  • NEOGOV PDwC88
    1. Money wise : selling your start up to corporations

    2. Philosophical : the number of people you've helped them grow
    Jul 11 2
    • Bank of America veVs08
      Are you growing people? A people farm?
      Jul 11
    • Google pxel
      I think 2. should be a very small component and not at all used to judge how good you are as a software engineer.
      Jul 11
  • Think about your goals as a human being. Being a software engineer or having high TC doesn’t define us.
    Jul 11 4
    • Microsoft tOvS15
      OP
      Being a better human being is a personal goal. All of us are trying that every minute. But career success is not measured by how good of a "person" you end up being. Bill gates vs Steve jobs is a classic example. Both are successful entrepreneurs but very different kind of people, based on their respective biographies
      Jul 11
    • Well, career success? I mean you have 3 options, right. Climb engineering ladder, climb management ladder, or startups.

      You can do all of the above at different times too.

      Or, as you grow older you may choose to stay at your current level to have more WLB. That’s fine too.
      Jul 11
    • Microsoft tOvS15
      OP
      And what about when you reach the top of this ladder? Is that like climbing Mt Everest? What next? Find another ladder?
      Jul 11
    • Well, by the time you’re a Senior Staff/Principal Engineer or SVP at a top company, or finally a successful startup millionaire, you can do whatever the fuck you want.

      One of the most fulfilling feelings is not having to work for the man. Once you get there, you can choose to keep making lots of money. I mean Bill Gates still invests and makes a shitton.

      Because once you have 10M, you’ll want 100M, then 1B, and that’s just human nature.
      Jul 11
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    If you were a real engineer your success would be measured by success of products you built. Since you’re a software “engineer” it’s probably money, title and other garbage
    Jul 11 2
    • Microsoft tOvS15
      OP
      Well, how many engineers really get to "pick" the projects they want to build? And if you're saying software engineering is all about money, title and other garbage, how much money, what title and what is this other garbage? That's my question
      Jul 11
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      It depends on your own standards. If you work for government get your 200k and government pension after life long employment writing a form for obscure numbered procurement regulation and call it success
      Jul 12
  • Amazon / Eng &:749&/@;
    Contemplating 🤔
    Jul 11 0

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