The Reality of Software Engineering - : Latest Jobs In Pakistan 2022

Thursday 22 July 2021

The Reality of Software Engineering

 Hello everybody. And welcome back. So in today's article, I wanted to get real about the realities of being a software engineer. I wanted to talk about not only all these great things like the compensation and work life balance, but about some of the negative aspects of being a software engineer as well. And since I don't have a ton of experience, I've only done one internship at Microsoft as a software engineer intern, I wanted to bring on my friend. His name is Clem. You may know him as Clement or the algo expert guy who worked at Google, worked at Facebook and now runs his own software company called Now, if you don't know what algo expert is, it is a coding interview, prep platform. It is amazing. It’s what I for one use to get ready for my Microsoft and Shopify interviews. I ended up passing both of those. I highly recommend it. So that being said, how about we feel free to begin. I've split this video up into five sections.  Alright, Clem, thank you for joining me. So the first section that I want to go over here actually is compensation. So I know there's a ton of rumors that go around about compensation. Typically people think that tech compensation is very high, but I want to ask you, do you feel though, when you're working at Facebook and working at Google, that you are compensated fairly, and do you want to talk about maybe some of those figures or anything that you thought was special about the compensation? Sure. 

 I've shared basically all of my compensation details over the two, two and a half years that I was working at Google and Facebook combined. Um, I think that yes, software engineers, especially at these big tech companies, but even at most other companies are paid very handsomely in the order of, you know, almost $200,000 for an entry level software engineer at $200,000 per year. And obviously some of that is stock based compensation. And of course at those big tech companies, the stock is almost like pure money because the stocks have been performing so well. And then, you know, the, the higher you go in the levels, the more you approach the $300,400,000 per year. So it's really fantastic compensation. But to your point about, is it fair? Do you feel like you're paid fairly? It's funny because once you're in that world where those figures become kind of the norm, you might start to feel like you're underpaid for the amount of work that you're putting in sometimes compared to your peers. And that's often why you'll see some people who switched companies, maybe it's for other reasons as well, but oftentimes they can just get a higher compensation package at company because They feel like they were paid a little bit under what they should be paid at their current Company. Yeah. 

It's kind of crazy to think that making, you know, 200, $300,000 a year and some people still find that that's unfair, but I guess it makes sense once you get into that world, right. It's just like the lifestyle inflation you're used to that number. And I guess you just, you need more right. To feel as you're working effectively. Um, I'll say quickly before we move on to the next section that when I worked at Microsoft, I felt I was compensated quite fairly. Um, I know what they are for, um, you know, entry-level, it's kind of standard at least at Microsoft and it's super high. Some of the numbers, especially considering that you might be getting that job at 21 or 22, but like you said, I'm not in that full time tech world yet. So maybe things will change when I get there. Uh, but anyways, thanks, Glenn. We're going to move on now to the next topic. All right. So in this next section, what I want to talk about is work life balance.

So to me personally, this is extremely important. Any job I do, I want to make sure that it's really balanced. I have time with family, friends and all of that. And I know that tech companies are talked very highly of when it comes to work life balance. Now, as an intern, I felt I had a really good work life balance, but I think that could be deceiving because when you get into full time, there's a lot more stuff you have to deal with. And of course, they're not trying to impress you. So I wanted to ask you, um, how did you feel about the work life balance at Google and Facebook? Was it up to par, do you think it was good? And just your thoughts on that? I've always said that work life balance at Google and Facebook was great for me. I think that, especially on the teams that I was on, it was really great at Google specifically. It was almost like the company, like once you do to not put too many hours, like if you want to put more hours, just because you're someone who enjoys their work, they will almost like not necessarily hold you back, but they'll, they'll try to make sure that you get your rest and that you're not overworking yourself. So really work life balance was great. I will say though, that it is highly dependent on the team that you're on. 

I have heard from some people, especially at Facebook that some teams like maybe infrastructure teams are a little bit more stressful and a little bit more demanding from a work life balance point of view. But that, wasn't my experience. One last thing to add is that a lot of companies, when you're a full time software engineer, you have to be on call on call means that like for some period of time, maybe a week, every month, you can be paid at any time in the day and you have to fix like an outage or an issue that might be something that people really don't like about software engineering, especially because at most companies it's unpaid work. It's kind of like unpaid overtime at Google. It is paid Google Pampers it's software engineers. But yeah, that's one thing to me. Yeah, definitely. That's good to consider it on the team that I was on. Um, there was nothing like that. Actually. I don't think anyone was really on call, but definitely if there was like a critical bug that came out or something, you would see people working, you know, 10, 12 hours just to finish that up. Uh, so that's great. I'm going to move on to the next section now. Alright. So Clem, next, I want to ask you about how interesting the work was. So personally for me, when I was working Microsoft, one of the great things that I enjoyed is that they really wanted me to work on something that was interesting to me. 

They would ask me to pick between a bunch of different projects that, you know, do you like this is this fun. And that was definitely a huge benefit and made me more motivated to actually want to do the work. And personally, when I'm looking for a job, I always want to look for something that's going to be interesting where I'm not just going to be kind of sitting there bored all day, even if it is, you know, relatively easy, I want to be challenged. So I just wanted to ask you how interesting would you say the work was at Google and Facebook where you just fixing bugs all day? Does it change when you go from an intern to a full time employee? I know you weren't an intern, but relative to what I was talking to you about. Um, and yeah, just, you know, how interesting was it? Did you have a good time and did it challenge you? So I'll start with the intern question cause I did host a lot of interns, so I know the type of work that I assigned to them. I think that you might be, you might have a tiny bit of a misconception for lack of a better word, just because as an intern, usually the hosts will do everything that they can to give you the best possible experience. 

So they might kind of bias towards giving you really fun work or exciting work. That being said, the work that I did as a full time employee at both Google and Facebook was very fun. And I really enjoyed it, especially as someone who was kind of new to the industry and new to a full time software engineering work, I will say though, that one thing that software engineers, especially new software engineers need to really remember is that at the end of the day, when you're working as a software engineer, the majority of your work will not be the most exciting cutting edge type of stuff in any part of the tech stack, whether you're a backend engineer or a front end engineer, there is some sort of common work, you know, the most frequent work that you do.

That's not necessarily super challenging. And, and, you know, it's the most exciting, like maybe putting forms on a page as a front end engineer or writing a few API end points as a backend engineer. And that's just part of the job, you know, you have to, you have to kind of enjoy even that monotonous type of For sure. Yeah. That's a really good point that actually makes me remember now kind of some of the stuff that I had to do and what I saw other team members doing, we had people assigned each day to going in and just looking at all the issue reports. Cause we were on a, what was it? Open source software. So there was all kinds of issues being filed every day and people would have to go in there and just, you know, try to re repro the issues and then respond to them, talk to the customers. So stuff that's obviously not enjoyable, but as you said, just part of the job. Okay, great. So while I was working at Microsoft, I definitely found that as a remote intern, especially someone new to the team and new to this whole software engineering industry, I felt alone kind of a lot of the times, right? I was just sitting on the computer for, you know, four or five hours solving problems. 

And I hear from a lot of software engineers that one of the reasons maybe they don't like the job as much, or they look down upon it is because it is a lot of kind of alone time. There's not as much social interaction as say, you know, another regular job that you might do just cause you have to be focused so often and kind of sitting at the computer and just solving problems. So I wanted to ask you, did you find that a problem at all while you were working, um, you know, for Google Facebook, and maybe you can even contrast that to working for yourself as a CEO. I know you do a lot of business related stuff and less development now. Um, but yeah. Can you just talk about, you know, kind of the social interaction, interaction aspect of the job? Yeah. So I think that that really comes down to the team and the environment that you're in rather than the fact of being a software engineer, because I think that some software engineering teams are gonna have very social people, people who like to chat during the, during the day and others are not going to have that. I think that you probably were especially impacted by the remote aspect of your internship. I think that's probably why you felt a little bit more lonely, so to speak. Um, but when I was at Google and Facebook, we had a really good relationship like on our team. 

Um, you know, when I had the interns, we chatted basically like every day they sat right next to me. So I never really found that, um, that loneliness aspect of the job really, um, you know, at the forefront of it, I didn't see that. And now as a, as someone who's working, you know, from home remotely on my own company yes. As a CEO, so to speak, but also sometimes as a developer. And I'm obviously like with, you know, other developers, um, kind of the same thing, like we're social, you know, we talk all day long on either on calls or on, you know, instant messaging. So I don't really feel that loneliness that much. So it's kind of known in the tech industry that a lot of developers report health problems, whether that be with their hands, whether that be sitting too long, just being kind of an unhealthy lifestyle, right. Just staring at the screen for hours upon hours. And I definitely even see with myself, even someone that's pretty young and healthy that it's not great. And I don't feel great after I'm kind of staring at my monitor for, you know, 10, 11 hours. 

I haven't gotten up for a walk, whatever it may be now, of course, some of this comes down to personal responsibility, but I just wanted to ask you, um, do you see these kinds of health problems being an issue in the software engineering field? Is this something that's maybe more of a rumor or just due to the individual themselves? Or is this something that happens to a lot of software engineers, like these kinds of, you know, chronic health problems or just dealing with the fact that they need to be on the computer all day? I think that it's probably more specific to the individual, although like you said, the fact that you're at your desk all day and typing on a keyboard might make you more prone to these types of health issues.

I've been really fortunate to have never experienced things like carpal tunnel or wrist issues or things like that. I will say though that, yeah, I've been always like very big on going to the gym and exercising. I go to the gym almost every day or at least I used to pre pandemic, but I will say that right now with the pandemic, I haven't been able to do that because most gyms have been closed. And admittedly, that does kind of like mess with your, with your mind, at least for someone like me, like not having exercise and being at the computer all day, you kind of feel like lethargic, not super healthy. And, um, yeah, that kind of sucks, but I'm not sure that that's necessarily unique to software engineering. Yeah. That's a good point. I guess that happens with kind of all kinds of jobs. I'm just trying to go through some of the things that people often say on the internet, right. Like if I look up like big problems with being a software engineer and then people are like, Oh, there's all these chronic issues and you need glasses and all of that. So it's good. It's good to hear that. I guess, you know, you can kind of avoid that. 

You just have to, I guess, take personal responsibility and be healthy. So that's what I thank you. All right. So Clem, that kind of concludes our five sections here now to leave everyone off with something I wanted to ask you what your number one pro and your number one con of being a software engineer was throughout the years. Like what have you liked the most? And I guess what did you hate the most? Sure. So I think the number one pro of being a software engineer, it's kind of a multifaceted thing. Maybe I'm cheating here a little bit, but first of all, all things considered amazing quality of life, relatively interesting work and great pay. And on top of that, you are developing a skill that is so incredibly useful and powerful, and that allows you to build basically anything. 

If you ever do want to go out and build something of your own, like a company. So really fantastic field that I would recommend to anybody now, the con the number one con that I would give is probably the fact that by way of being a software engineer, especially if you are located in tech heavy locations, like the Bay area, or maybe even the Pacific North Northwest in Seattle, you're like in your own little bubble. And when you work at these big tech companies, especially you're even more in a little bubble within another bubble, right? And so you get, you, you, you kind of are left out of reality where you're talking about it, like, yeah, I'm underpaid at three 50 K dollars a year and you know, like react and Docker Kubernetes, and you kind of like forget about the real world, if that makes sense. And everybody around you is talking about tech that can be kind of annoying and kind of the downside. 

So you have to willingly try to seek non-software engineering stuff and kind of remember that there's a reality outside of tech. Yeah. That's a really good point. I think really that just is, you know, you lose a bit of perspective, right? To what the average, you know, everyday person kind of goes through, which I always find is really important to have. And even I'll say when I went to Seattle, even that one time, I definitely felt what you were just saying. There is kind of that little bubble and there's own little culture within this place. And I guess it makes sense, right? You're working alongside of all these people where none of them are making, you know, almost less than 200 grand a year. Like all your coworkers are pretty wealthy. They're all very intelligent at a certain level. Of course, if they're working in tech and yeah, I think that's a really good thing to consider.

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