What social benefits come with being a software engineer?
I really enjoy meeting new people. I also enjoy working in groups. If i like to socialize and meet new people, is being a software engineer a good idea? #software #work #environment
I spent the early part of my career as a software consultant for a consulting firm - meaning, other companies would hire the company that I worked for to build amazing custom software that solved a business problem - and very different than being a software engineer for a product company.
I would think about this question in 3 parts:
- Client - what does success look like for my client? How can I to the best of my abilities ensure that I create value for my client.
So practically speaking, this meant that I would work with my co-workers to make sure that we created software that was robust and reliable and user friendly. This was very seldom done in a vacuum. I did not just come to work, sit at my desk, and code all by myself. I worked as part of a very dynamic team, where we constantly kept the client, and their needs, at the forefront of what we were doing. Now don't get me wrong, there were times that we had to just crush code, but there was a balance there, which involved talking to the client and making sure we were on track with their expectations.
- Firm - am I creating value for the company that I was working for.
Here, I thought about what I was adding to my team. Was I able to teach others? Did I communicate in a way that allowed others to understand whether I was on track to deliver what I was responsible for, or did I need help?
Software engineering, like most things in life, require many things to work together as expected in order for predictable outcomes to be achieved. Programming the correct functionality was just one of the parts to the job. Communicating clearly, setting proper expectations with your team, and contributing to the overall knowledge base of the company are other parts of the jobs.
- Self- What did I need in order to be happy?
For me, the question was - am I doing something that matters, along side people I care about, for people I want to see succeed? Creating bug-free code is only one aspect of what success looked like for me. Having fun, growing as a person, and learning from my co-workers were equally important.
In summary, there are many companies that would hire a person interested in software engineering. Talking to a wide assortment of companies will help you get a better sense of how much personal interaction and communication is involved and expected in the role at that company.
If you like working in groups and meeting new people, that can be an asset in being a software engineer. Most software engineers work in teams, and being able to communicate and work well with others will help you (and your team!) get things done.
Usually, however, that's not a role where you will meet new people regularly. If meeting new people is a must, you can definitely start as a software engineer, but end up in product development (managing the requirements of the business team, while setting priorities and working with the software engineers) or sales engineering (coding to help with the sales process and to help customers set up their software/systems, which definitely lets you meet new people all the time).
It depends very much on the company you're working for.
A software engineer in general is not one of the more social jobs. You will have plenty of opportunities to socialise with your coworkers if you want, but a lot of your time will be spent in front of a computer writing code. Engineers are not usually customer-facing (i.e., you'll talk to someone who will talk to the customer) though there are some occasions in smaller companies that an engineer will deal with a customer just because they're the person that it makes the most sense to have do it. In most cases, software engineers are a team, though, so you'll work closely with folks in groups on various features and projects.
In terms of opportunities to socialise, depends. Some of your coworkers will like socialising and some won't. I really enjoy being able to be social to a degree, but some people want to come in, do their 9-5, and go home, and that's totally their decision. That comes in when you're interviewing and deciding if the company is right for you and is less about the job itself.
I hope that helps!