I don’t usually call out articles on Hacker News for being exceptionally silly — if I did I wouldn’t have the time to write about anything else — but I saw one in particular tonight that bugged me, titled Your Job Is Not To Code. It was filled with the sort of engineering platitudes that one can reliably expect from HN: you must be an engineering ambassador to your company from the strange and incomprehensible Codingverse. It’s up to you to interpret and reinterpret the requirements of your project, hopefully better than its stakeholders, and tell them what they’re doing wrong. Your technical skills must be married to the sort of interpersonal skills that would make ambassadors and diplomats blush.
This is all bunk.
If you’re an engineer, then your job is to code. Your job is to be good at it. No, more than that: your job is to be great at it. Anything less is a disservice to the people who’ve hired you and a disservice to yourself. You should work constantly to succeed at your job. Working towards anything else is a distraction.