The 5 Most Dangerous Types Of Software Engineers

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX
Published in
10 min readFeb 12, 2022

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Is someone hiding in plain sight? Who made that last commit? Why am I programming in Go?!

Pixabay License

You’ll meet many different kinds of people in the grand game of software engineering, many of them will be pleasant, some of them will be pretty unpleasant, and a minority of them just downright dangerous.

The Circles of Hell

In your immediate circle will be a wide gamut of fellow software engineers of varying skills and experience — some you will bond with over familiar vim config files, others you will duel with for the most deliberately obfuscated code to baffle the test team, but generally you’ll all get on.

Even the JavaScript acolytes can be a laugh when they’re not trying to line things up in a UI or understand what types are.

Outside of that are the hangers on, those who think they have actual technical knowledge and assume because of that and their semi-leader / semi-manager rank that they’re in some way superior to the developers. However, in reality they depend totally on the development team for their very existence and are, on the whole, an inconvenience to the process of actually getting things done.

They will include the methodology evangelists who think they know more about organisation, planning, and execution than the developers thanks to their laminated certificates proudly displayed in the background on video calls or, even more sadly, outside their cube entrance (see later for how they sometimes come to be).

Project managers also dwell here assuming they span the great divide between management and development and are always able to somehow see the bigger picture (that us mere mortals in development can somehow never grasp).

Thanks to their PMP ‘mastery’, that 2 hour course they watched about something called Jira, and their ‘having worked as a coder back in the day’ their self-delusion is often impregnable.

Outside of all this, even more remote from the real technical coalface, is the general morass of upper management and company operations. This consists of whole divisions of automatons that could most often be abolished and replaced with a single operative and includes such pinnacles of human evolution and…

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Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX

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