2 answers

What types of software engineering roles will allow me to spend the most time actually writing code?

Asked Providence, Rhode Island

Hi everyone. I'm a CS major in college, about to become a senior, and will be looking for a full-time role soon. I feel like I'm on track, and am considering what type of software engineering role I'd like to pursue. One thing that I've learned from my summer internship is how much of software engineering can involve things other than writing code: reading code, reading documentation, learning to use internal tools, writing configs, writing test cases, minor bug fixes, and spending a lot of time communicating or coordinating with coworkers. I don't necessarily have a problem with any of the other types of tasks, but this got me wondering if there are certain types of roles where I might spend more (or less) time actually writing code. What are the factors that might affect the % of time I'd spend coding? (Factors might include characteristics of the company that I work for, characteristics of the department or team I work for, etc.) I'd appreciate any experience you might have on that one. Thanks!
#software-engineering #programming #software-development #python #web-development #backend-development

2 answers

Jeffrey’s Answer

Updated El Segundo, California


The value of software is delivering value to the customer. It takes a lot of work to understand what is needed. You're value is to understand the needs and deliver a solution that meets those needs. Be careful, there are 10's a millions of offshore developers. It's easy to offshore a coder. Business leaders want developers who are strong communicators, truly understand their requirements, and deliver the right solution in a timely manner.

Paul’s Answer

Updated Cary, North Carolina

I would say that it is less the role type for software engineer that defines the amount of time focused on code writing and more the type of software and industry the software engineer is apart of.

For companies that are producing software for enterprise use there is a lot of work to get it right. This involves understanding requirements, designs, reviews, tests, and the code.

If working in a role that is building internal tools I have seen the requirements, design and reviews take less time so more time to iterate and code new things. This works for a time depending on how the internal tool is used and how big it becomes. Too much code that becomes spaghetti code will become unmaintainable or not scalable. Then it will be back to understanding what is required and redesigning things before getting back to writing code.

Writing great code is a key skill but being able to design something that scales and is easy to maintain is just as important and planning that out can often take more time than writing code.

Hope that helps.

That makes a lot of sense! Thank you for clarifying :)