Focus on outcomes

Brian Kotos

December 23, 2023

I had an interaction the other day with a couple of coworkers that made me stop and rethink what I was doing. As software engineers our job is to solve problems. Our job is not necessarily to write code.

It's easy to jump straight into solutioning. I certainly find myself being guilty of that from time to time. But I think it's important to take a step back and first define what your problem is and what a successful outcome would look like. If you need to, maybe even hit snooze on solutioning for a few days and come back when you've had time for the problem to resonate.

In fact, if you can solve a problem without writing any code, that might be better. Even if some code needs to be written, start with the simplest solution first and iterate from there. While sometimes necessary, code is expensive and can become a liability over time. Could the problem be solved by a change to a business or operational process? That's still a win. Users don't care about code, they care about outcomes.