20 Things I've Learned in my 20 Years as a Software Engineer

12. People don’t really want innovation

People talk about innovation a whole lot, but what they are usually looking for is cheap wins and novelty. If you truly innovate, and change the way that people have to do things, expect mostly negative feedback. If you believe in what you’re doing, and know it will really improve things, then brace yourself for a long battle.

16. Software engineers should write regularly

Software engineers should regularly blog, journal, write documentation and in general do anything that requires them to keep their written communication skills sharp. Writing helps you think about your problems, and helps you communicate those more effectively with your team and your future self. Good written communication is one of the most important skills for any software engineer to master.

18. Software engineers, like all humans, need to feel ownership

If you divorce someone from the output of their work, they will care less about their work. I see this almost as a tautology. This is the primary reason why cross-functional teams work so well, and why DevOps has become so popular. It isn’t all about handoffs and inefficiencies, it is about owning the whole process from start to finish, and being directly responsible for delivering value. Give a group of passionate people complete ownership over designing, building, and delivering a piece of software (or anything really) and amazing things will happen.