Your users are not your sole audience

Social trumps all

Human beings tend to get social about the things they do, no matter how technical or mathematical they are. That’s called Conway’s law or something. Namely that organizations design systems that mirror their own communication structure. What happens if you apply this law to an industry? See what I mean?

Organizational thinking

There’s another important aspect. Any large influential project or organization must necessarily involve many people. While it may naively seem that multiplying effort multiplies output, it takes great foresight & management skills to make one plus one greater than two.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Behaving oneself

Most of the non-programming skills engineers need to master are just that. Project management skills in the context of software. While much of this is commonly learnt like gospel, in a “this is how you do it” sort of way (perhaps even incentivized by grades in school), there’s value in sticking to the basics and realizing that professional engineering is a social process, and there are notions of manners. While many of these manners aim to improve productivity / simplify architecture, some of them have idiosyncratic origins. And that’s OK. Just important to distinguish them from the technical skills, to understand the motivations behind workflow choices & to pay attention where it matters.

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