Shifting from Code-Centric to Product-Driven

Like many software engineers, I was initially captivated by the appeal of building. I enjoyed the challenge of solving complex technical problems and writing clean, concise, and efficient code, while allowing others decide what to build, and focusing solely on building it right. However, as I gained more experience, I began to see the limitations of this mindset. I witnessed firsthand how products fail despite flawless execution on the technical front. It became evident that a narrow focus on coding alone was not enough to ensure success in the competitive landscape of tech.

My awakening came when I delved into the world of product management. As I immersed myself in literature and resources on product strategy, user experience, and market research, I gained a deeper appreciation for the broader context in which software engineering operates. I realized that writing code was just one piece of the puzzle – the true challenge lay in understanding user needs, identifying market opportunities, and delivering value to customers.

The shift to a product-driven approach has brought about numerous benefits in my work as a software engineer. By focusing on solving real-world problems rather than simply writing code for the sake of it, I've been able to deliver more meaningful and impactful solutions. I've gained a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in my work, knowing that I'm contributing to something larger than myself.

I found greater satisfaction in building by measuring its usage, solving the problem, or iterating, instead of merely feeling satisfied with shipping features that may or may not get used and then moving on to the next feature.

My journey from a code-centric mindset to a product-driven approach has been transformative both personally and professionally. I've come to recognize the immense power and responsibility that comes with being a software engineer – not just to write code, but to create products that make a difference in people's lives. I encourage my fellow engineers to embrace this shift, to step out of their comfort zones, and to approach their work with a renewed focus on solving real problems and delivering value to customers. In doing so, we can truly unleash the full potential of technology.