Our Duty of Care as Engineers
By Dan Malone
On Jul 18, 2018

So much of our work and business happens online, through digital mechanisms. As a result SMEs and startups are increasingly reliant on technical avenues for success. Gone are the days of roadside lemonade stands, turn it into a drop shipping company or go get a job!

So the big problem is that technology is complicated, and technologists are expensive to hire and consult with.

To compete in the digital age a business owner needs three things:
💸 | 😭 | 🤓.

You need cash, you need to hustle but most importantly you need people that speak tech. These engineers generate the avenue for you to sell and interface with your customers.

This reliance puts engineers in a serious position of power, but with great power.. yada yada. With such a position engineers can demand huge wages, great benefits and lofty titles, but what is required of us in turn?

It is our duty to protect, support and educate the business and the business owner. In many startup and SME environments the buck stops with you. You’re here to fill in knowledge gaps, so what you say is true is true.

There may be nobody more technical to catch you out if you choose to bend the truth, so you can throw a day or two onto an estimate here and there, thats fine right? Maybe you want to try out a new technology and imagine up a bogus reason to staple it into the tech stack?

Seriously we really need an elastic search cluster and a recurring AWS bill to find this string.

I estimate a lot of project costs, and I meet with a lot business owners who are in the tender process. By the time I speak with them they’ve spoken to a lot of freelancers, agencies and technologists. The picture they paint is a kaleidoscope of random quote ranges, time estimates and technical feasibilities.

You want to build Facebook for cats oh and you’ve only got 5k? Sure we can do that.

Think about the business, think about the responsibility you have. Your reputation will serve you far better in the long run than a little extra cream on top of that invoice.

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