Four Stages of a Software Engineer

Apr 1, 2017 · 1 min read

When I was back at Microsoft on the Office 365 team, there was a legend of sorts, apparently first uttered by our then-director, passed down by mouth to new developers. Before I write it down, it’s worth noting the title progression at Microsoft: Software Engineer 1, Software Engineer 2, Senior Software Engineer, then Principal Software Engineer. It’s a catchy way to remind us that software engineering is not just about solving problems, but also doing it in a way that is as simple and maintainable as possible.

SDE 1’s — simple problems, complicated solutions.

SDE 2’s — complicated problems, complicated solutions.

Seniors — complicated problems, simple solutions.

Principals — removes the problem altogether.

Originally published at on April 1, 2017.

AP on Code

A jumble of thoughts on mostly coding, but with stuff like…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store