in SaaS

On Recognizing Good Engineers

Who am I writing for?
  1. Marketing, sales, product (business people) and engineers/programmers who need to work closely with each other in technology companies.
What’s my key point?

Find and work with engineers who are actually business people but solve their parts of the problem through code/engineering.


I’ve been working with engineers for a few years now. Some are an absolute delight to work with… you feel this sense of camaraderie where two people get together to tackle a problem, one with their engineering skills, one with business skills.

And then there are those who thought of marketing or non-engineering work as drudgery

Behavioral traits to look out for
    • They ask for the end business goal of the project right off the bat… usually by saying something like “so what are you trying to achieve?” That’s the good ones. The incredible ones will also askĀ “and for whom?”
    • They take time to understand the actions and processes needed to meet that goal, not just from engineering, but from all other departments. An engineer like this knows that any large project will need multiple teams, people & departments to work together to succeed, and they’ll plan accordingly.
    • They’re able to suggest alternatives to the approach you’ve thought of. Shows that they can think for themselves about business problems.
    • They include the project’s outcome in your overall reporting infrastructure/solution. Good folks know that post hoc reporting forms the basis for future, better action.

If you find people like this in your organisation, then management is doing something very right. But you rarely find engineers like this.

Related: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12557542

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