What Every Business wants from an Engineer

This is a detour from "4 Steps To Be An Effective Engineer".

Let me shed some light on what every business actually wants from you. And why it may be wise to think about "end users" first all the time.

The Secret

The main purpose of any business is to make money.
Preferably tons of money.

But the main driver, which lets any business to make money, is solving real problems for end users.

Every person on the Earth wants his problems to disappear as soon as possible.

Some times people even gonna pay your for making those problems disappear.

Happy users are the fuel of any business engine!

What do they want from me?

So you are an engineer. And you can write code.

The first and foremost thing you can bring on the business table is a capability to solve problems via automation.

Got it?

Business does not want you to write some code. It wants you to automate problem solving.

This is your colleagues who wants you to write code.
Because that's how automation is made.

Some of them want you to write clean code.
Because that's how you do not die while automating things.

Why is the universe like that?

We all know the answer: 42.

But there are something more. Here is three more essential things any business should provide:

  1. Start solving real users' problems ASAP.
  2. Keep on improving the solution.
  3. Deal fast with unforeseen issues, which came up during problem solving act. Or those problems will kill the business.

Note: You do not write clean code to make point #1 work. But you need to write clean code to deal with point #3.

Let's transform this list a little bit and put it in programmer's language:

  1. You need to deliver even non-optimal solutions.
  2. You need to control the complexity to be able to add features.
  3. You need to make things maintainable.

There is always a balance.

But keep in mind, that the only thing that matters is end user happiness.

So, what can I do about that?

Here is a useful mantra to keep you focused:

Make it work. Make it right. Make it fast.

Now, if you are not yet tired, I would suggest you to proceed with the article, explaining how to be efficient.