Aug 7, 2023·edited Aug 7, 2023Liked by Lee Robinson

Really like this approach, I find it a lot more motivational than the traditional frontend/backend engineer point of view. Thanks for sharing!

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I'm a huge believer in Product Engineering. This development in perspective and narrative is a beneficial change for the industry because it helps to realign the focus of the developers towards better outcomes.

However I think that we can go further. I call the endgoal Full Context Engineer. The main difference I see between the two is how each defines the goal of the Engineer. Developing a great Product is a much more holistic goal than writing code that fits the requirements.

Where a Full Context Engineer goes further is putting equal emphasis on three things. Solving the problems of: the customers, the business and themselves with their work.

A Product Engineer might polish the whole scope of user experience and code quality but a Full Context Engjneer will carefully consider factors such as: the business ROI of their decisions with the goal to minimize costs and maximize revenue. They will think about increasing the reputation of the company through the effects of the code they write but with other tools as well. They try to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of their teams and works processes. All the while keeping their own and their teammates' health a satisfaction high.

I guess it might sound a bit idealistic but my belief is that these are (some of) the true goals of every software engineer nonetheless. Just as it was (and is) the goal of the backend and frontend engineers to create a good product. We are simply more cognizant of reality if we expand our attention to the full scope, the full context of our work and learn how can we influence it.

I guess the shameless plug here is to say I wrote a book about this approach and run a newsletter using this perspective over here on substack... Take a look if you see some merit in these ideas!

Great post Lee, thanks for putting it out!

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