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Time to Update the Software Engineer Stereotype

The typical software developer is an early bird, drinks just one cup of coffee a day, and never touches Soylent

1 min read
Software programmer sitting against an person sized cup of coffee
Illustration: iStockphoto

According to a survey of 1600 software engineers conducted by job search site Hired as part of its annual State of Software Engineers report, a number of stereotypes about software engineers are just plain wrong.

First, they aren’t all rolling into the office around noon and coding late into the night. In fact, 66 percent of software engineers, according to Hired, are larks, not owls, preferring to get up early and finish work early rather than sleeping in and working late. If forced to choose, 53 percent would work from home every day, and 47 percent would come into an office every day, the Hired survey indicated. (But, at least in Silicon Valley, most don’t have to choose on a permanent basis, and mix and match depending on the project, the day, or the season.)

The increasingly healthy foods and beverages made available  by high tech companies appear to be luring engineers away from the coffee machine; according to the Hired survey 40 percent of software engineers drink just one cup of coffee a day, and only 2 percent ever drink Soylent—that would-be trend never did really catch on.

Finally, Hired asked engineers what kind of music they listen to through their ubiquitous noise-cancelling headphones. Electronic/dance beats came out on top, followed by rock and then classical.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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