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The Do’s and Don’ts of Entrepreneurship For Software Engineers

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As a software engineer, few things are more critical than minding your closing brackets and having an entrepreneurial mindset.

Throughout history, engineering has been the one aspect of society that genuinely defines progress. The difference between scarcity and plenty is an engineer with ideas about farming equipment. The difference between mud huts and drywall houses is engineered materials and architecture. Moreover, now that engineering has entered the digital world, it’s clear that the possibilities are endless. However, just like there were no tractors before an engineer invented it, software engineers must develop before new software possibilities are unlocked.

Innovation, Creation, Progress

This concept embodies what is known as engineering entrepreneurialism. The mindset that guides an engineer not to be content with what other engineers know can be done. To think of new and innovative ways to accomplish goals. To not accept the way things are done just because they have always been done that way, and instead focus on the way things could be done better.

Taking On a Challenge

When most people hear ‘entrepreneur’, they think of someone who has decided to start their own business. A future business owner. However, we’re not suggesting that every engineer in the business quit their jobs to start a new company. Quite the contrary! In practice entrepreneurialism is has always been tied to the business world, but has not always referred to the founders. Someone working with an entrepreneurial mindset is someone who as adopted the values, goals, and risks of the business. A facility manager, for example, doesn’t have to be the founder to run a business, act in its best interests, and take responsibility for its success. However, few realise that you can also adopt this mindset as an engineer, even if you don’t feel like you have a great deal of influence in your workshop or behind your computer.

In short, an entrepreneurial mindset for software engineers is a willingness to think as if you were running the business. The innovations and developments you make as an engineer will shape the entire company and turn the product technology in a whole new direction.

Embracing the Constant Development of New Technology

Engineering entrepreneurialism is more crucial than ever because we are now seeing hundreds of innovations a year, rather than a few every decade. Technology is moving so fast that there’s hardly time to create limiting conventions in areas like software and device technology. Software engineers are coming up with incredible new ideas and implementations every day. Moreover, the best innovations come from applying an entrepreneurial mindset to software engineering tasks.

Taking On the Challenges of Your Company

Whether you are in some obscure tech office in a large company, developing product for a small company, or are the core producer of a startup, the key to professional engineering entrepreneurialism is to take on the challenges and goals of the company itself. Rather than merely chugging through tasks to complete on the project plan, start thinking as if you were one of the execs. Think about the company; it’s products, goals and customers. How could your work somehow improve the overall success of the company itself? You might be surprised how many ideas you can come up with.

Asking the Right Questions

What kind of software solutions could improve the company? What product, website, or app innovations would delight your customers? Because, after all, they are your customers as much as your employer’s. They benefit from your engineering work and, in many cases, you as the engineer ultimately shape the customer experience.

Of course, it’s not just about pleasing the customers. Many engineers are currently in a better position to help a company improve it’s a behind-the-scenes success instead. What could you innovate that would save the company money? What tools could you develop that would make life easier for fellow employees inside the system? How could you make the product safer, more enjoyable, more profitable, or make a splash in the industry?

Seeking Innovative Answers

As a software engineer, you are experienced at answering hypothetical questions with real-world practical ideas. For many engineers, just asking yourself these questions will cause you to think of some incredible ideas and ways to improve all sorts of things about your product, workplace, or company tools. Alternatively, you might think of something entirely new to offer to the clients or a new way to achieve current internal goals. However, to think of these questions to ask, first you need to approach engineering and your role at work with an entrepreneurial mindset. Not feeling like an employee, but as a one-engineer captain of industry.

Becoming an Engineering Industry Leader

No matter where you start, in a forgotten workshop or the centre of a hectic startup, engineering entrepreneurialism will eventually bring your developer work into the spotlight. If you come up with something spectacularly innovative that transforms your company’s product, services, or the way they do business, then you can expect to receive more than a little attention for your success.

If you innovate something that transforms an entire industry’s use of software, expect to start getting speaker invitations to business conventions. Engineers who adopt an entrepreneurial mindset are destined to be industry leaders. They will become thought leaders of any engineering group they work with just because they will challenge every project to innovate and improve with new ideas. They will become big names in any company because engineering innovations are priceless to modern business. They will become names in the industry as other engineers build off their recently developed inventions.

As an engineer, taking on the entrepreneurial mindset is also preparing to become an industry leader. By thinking like a leader, you will begin to make decisions and come up with ideas that will be important to the leaders in your company. Also, in turn, your rank as a professional and esteem in the industry will rise. Other developers will look to you for guidance and management will expect you to be ready for the challenge. Undertaking difficult challenges through innovation is at the core of an entrepreneurial mindset for engineers.

For more tech industry insights and thought leadership, download our latest InfoBrief and read all about how enterprises in Asia Pacific are powering their intelligent transformation.

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