My Book

I’m writing a book! The working title for now is Everyone is Doing it Wrong: Essays from an opinionated software engineer.

Essays from the book

– – – – X

Users don’t like software, but the software engineers who make software hate it even more. Reddit forums are full of angry software engineers. Meetups are full of them. Conferences. Blogs. Podcasts. You might wonder, why even write code at all?

Well . . . it sure does pay well!

– – – – X

My brother-in-law began working as a software engineer awhile back and his wife was surprised by how many emails and meetings he has. Most of a software engineer’s job is spent herding cats in these two activities.

Which might seem odd considering software engineers were historically seen as odd, arrogant, know-it-all’s who disappeared into dark cavernous spaces with Jolt cola for long stretches of time.

Today’s generation is quite different, though. Have you heard the term “brogrammer?” A term that allows us to envision the new face of programming: keg-standing polo-shirt-wearing snapchatters with too many facebook party pics, who sometimes actually want to go to meetings.

So that brings me back to the topic of useless wastes of time emails and meetings. When there’s so many meetings, how are we supposed to get anything done? Especially with these brogrammers regaling us with all their Friday-night tales?

People Looking Choosing at Colleagues Photo
These are obviously not software engineers since they appear to be happy to be in a meeting

Most programmers know the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP). I think we should extend the SRP to meetings and emails. If your email covers more than one point then just delete it. Really, you’re better off with short emails with one quick point. Especially when you’re asking people to respond on something. Give them one question and follow-up on other topics another time. If you need a couple or a few things answered now, maybe a phone call or desk drive-by would be better, and if you are looking at four-five things then schedule a meeting, but keep the meeting on point, maybe?

Otherwise, you may see me sneaking out the back.

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