Should You Quit Your Job… Introducing the ‘Triangle of Fate’!

Dr Stuart Woolley
Published in
8 min readSep 9, 2022


Calculate your software engineering ‘Triangle of Fate’ and let it decide for you!

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Yes, of course I made this up. No, of course it’s not rigorously scientific. Yes, just like agile you can read a single article (this one), become an instant expert and start trousering an absolute mint for ‘practising’ it in the workplace. I’ll even send you a certification for a reasonable price¹.

It’s win-win-win!
Prepare for endless geometrically related puns, grab your graph paper, and plug in for some end of week Friday fun.

The Sides

Triangles by definition have three sides, and their internal angles sum up to 180 degrees², at least on a two dimensional plane.

To continue the triangle analogy and push it way too far, literally, probably to breaking point let’s imagine that your life in the grand game of software engineering also has three key sides to it, which all must be present for the triangle to exist.

  • Pay
    Are you being paid market rates for your skills?
  • Challenge
    Is your job challenging?
    No, not the unpaid stressful commute, the actual work.
  • Flexibility
    Is there room in your life for your job?

Sides can be of any length, of course, but what we strive for is an equilateral triangle — where sides are in complete balance — although one longer side can make up for two shorter ones it really just doesn’t feel right.


Simple to explain this one, is your current pay of a market rate that you expect?

If you’ve been at a company for some time then this is unlikely and the length of this side will shrink accordingly, conversely if you’re a new hire then this will probably be the longest side that constitutes the triangle.

As your pay shrinks, challenge and flexibility must grow, otherwise the triangle will break.


Tricky to explain, this one, but we’ll assume that the recruitment process and the recruiters involved were pretty honest about the role. Rare, I know, but let’s just take that as read for the moment. We’ll judge the…



Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.