Samuel A. Malachowsky

Senior Lecturer, Department of Software Engineering
Project Management Professional (PMP)

Here are three things that you should know about the way Software Engineers approach the world around them
Keywords Career

Three Things You Should Know About Software Engineers

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Software Engineers have differences in communication styles, motivations, and career paths

From my experience, there are three things you should know about Software Engineers:

  1. They communicate differently than you might expect.  It's often the technical jargon that outsiders most readily identify, but the reality is that technical processionals always prefer to understand things at the strategic level first and foremost. When successfully communicating a specific task that needs to be done, successful managers of technical teams first explain what the big picture problem/opportunity/need is, what steps have been taken thus far, and why the specific task is important.
  2. Their careers work differently.  Software Engineers are at the forefront of the mobile workforce. While others look for upward mobility (i.e. moving up the ladder), they are more likely to look at other organizations (or themselves in the form of startups) for lateral and vertical growth. It's no coincidence that the largest job sites (Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc.) were tech-focused startups that now epitomize the culture of the tech industry, not the recruiting/headhunting industry.
  3. They are motivated differently.  On average, Software Engineers tend towards intrinsic motivators, such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Though silicon valley does have its extrinsic motivations (high salaries, powerful executives, high-profile personalities), it's the companies' ability to provide a well-rounded buffet of motivations that allows them to consistently recruit top talent. Famous examples such as Google's policy of allocating 20% of employee's time to side projects of their own choosing speak directly to intrinsically-focused people.

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