Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Startups – no place for software engineers?

This post is inspired by

The post observes that startup businesses value getting something out, anything out fast is more important in the early days than maintainability. Which competes with the majority of our software engineering training and is thus a poor environment to practice and hone our skills.

Having worked in a few start ups, as well as range of other companies from small to corporation; I too have asked the same questions. However while I see wisdom in some of the conclusions, that post and other posts such as The Hustlers Manifesto sadden me.

As software engineers working for a business, we need to deliver solutions that help make the business a success (hopefully stating the obvious here, but stay with me). The skill in doing this is to deliver both what is asked for, and what is not. We are experts in technology and we are expected to also be experts in delivery of technology. That requires aligning that delivery, while keeping both costs and timescales down. That takes real skill. Learning to transition a project with a changing business is an important skill, that I would argue can only really be learnt by working in a range of environments; and that includes a startup style environment or three.