Habits of great software engineers

It's a combination of many different skills, mindsets, and disciplines.

Habits of great software engineers
20 minutes by Vadim Kravcenko

The role of a software developer often gets distilled down to a singular activity: coding. While coding is undeniably the heartbeat of the profession, defining a developer by this act alone is akin to defining a painter by their ability to mix colors. It's a crucial part but just the tip of the iceberg. The true essence of a software developer's role combines many different skills, mindsets, and disciplines.

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At Pinterest, data is ingested and transported at petabyte scale every day, bringing inspiration for our users to create a life they love. A central component of data ingestion infrastructure at Pinterest is our PubSub stack, and the Logging Platform team currently runs deployments of Apache Kafka and MemQ.

Last weekend I had a chance to talk with some students who just got their degree. They are pursuing their first software engineer job. In conversation with them, I learned that they have a pretty wrong perception of this job. This is because the reality for these new kids is so skewed.

Our journey to building a complex automated content management system started with a tiny hypothesis: “We can make Spotify’s Performance Marketing more efficient by leveraging the power of engineering and content.”

“Your technical skills are where they need to be, but you need to improve your communication.” - Your manager. This is one of the hardest pieces of feedback to hear as a software engineer. Why? Because you probably thought as a software engineer you can just speak code.

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