Being proficient with various *nix-style tools for working with plain text is a well known way to “level up” engineering skills. Efficiently using your editor of choice (vim or emacs), along with common command line tools like grep, awk, and less common ones like xxd and jq can lead to massive time savings. What a lot of people may not realize is that understanding how to use these tools and others like them is also engineering leadership superpower.
Happy holidays to all of you. I hope that you’re all able to take some time to rest and recharge to finish out the year. Light and life.
I see fascinating levels of learned helplessness in so much software engineering articles/posts these days. Folks tripping over themselves to cede every bit of decision making to other parts of their businesses and make themselves into replaceable cogs. Deathly afraid to have to put their reputation behind a decision, more enamored with the quiet comfort of a scrum where they seldom have to worry about a customer or doing anything other than what the “business” explicitly asks for.
Folks, if you’re not getting a good slate of talent it’s your fault. It is not hard for you as a hiring manager to send a note with a link to a job posting out to candidates that could be a good fit. Just because many recruiters/agencies take least effort path doesn’t mean you have to. $50/mo for the ability direct messages to a diverse talent market on a platform like LinkedIn should be either 1) expenseable and worth it or 2) not enough to worry about for anyone with hiring responsibilities.
We live in an era of scale. Most things in software have to be large to be interesting. We’ve seen the explosion of microservices, pipelines, and all sorts of other things. Those things can be great. But I cannot help but feel that growth in the number and complexity of the tools we use lead to many of us being too separated from the problems we’re trying to solve. Software, especially cloud-native software, has gotten to an amazing point where we can quickly build things in a weekend that would have taken months not too long ago.