DEV Community

Michael Levan
Michael Levan

Posted on

Value Over Features

A lot of engineers reach out to me on the socials (LinkedIn, X, etc.) to ask questions around tech and careers. Regardless of the level of engineer (entry, mid, senior, principal), I get asked the two same questions constantly:

  • “What product should I use?”
  • “Where can I learn about the tool?”

The truth is, there are just too many to choose from and the worst part is that so many of them do the same thing with a little twist, in turn making it even more difficult to choose.

Because of this, I’ve decided to switch gears on my focus and content.

In this blog post, I break it down.

The Creation Process

When I create products, write software/tools, or show a new way of doing things, I get excited, but sometimes others don’t.

Instead, I often get responses such as.

  • “it’s already been done”
  • “This tool does the same thing”
  • And my favorite “why add more tools when so many already exist?”

At first, this was kind of heartbreaking. I’d think to myself “This stuff is fun. Why doesn’t anyone else feel that way?” Or “This is really cool stuff. People should be excited about it”. The more I thought about it, the more it ate away at me. Whether I was lying in bed thinking about it, driving and thinking about it, or working and thinking about it, I couldn’t come to terms with why I was getting those reactions… until I did.

The Realization Process

Engineers just want to know why they should be using a particular tool or product. They don’t need “more”, they need “why”. Why should they be using it? Why should they test out software? How does it make their work more efficient? HOW DOES IT PROVIDE VALUE?

And most importantly, why?

Why take the time to use a new tool? Why take the time to check out a new vendor? Why spend valuable time (because time is the one thing we don’t have a receipt for) diving into new tools, platforms, and technologies?

After thinking about all of this, I realized the “why”, but not in the best way. I asked myself how I could give the most benefit to the community. If you’ve been following me for long enough, you know that I put out a lot of content, a lot of projects, and a lot of engineering-focused community-driven work. You also know that I can talk about pretty much any engineering topic. I’ve hopped on random AI talks, random cyber security talks… and even talks about mainframes! (yeah, they’re still a thing).

Thinking back to years ago when I first started creating content, I thought about my “why”, and my “why” was and still is one thing - to showcase quality engineering. I remember when I thought about this. I was sitting at my last full-time job and I was just so sick of the duct tape, the corporate politics, and the “do this because of X deadline” (a deadline of which was created for literally no reason). I just wanted to do something with my career that brought quality. That’s why I started to create content. I wanted an outlet to show engineers the best production way to do things.

A few weeks ago, I asked myself that same question - “why?”

The New Process

Going back to the The Creation Process of this blog post, I kept asking myself what I could do differently. How could I help more people? How could I have a bigger impact? How could I ensure my mission to show quality engineering still lives?

The answer to that was simple - show value.

However, the value that needs to be shown isn’t by me creating new products/software or creating more and more content around topics from an engineering perspective. Instead, the best way that I can help others and show value is by showing the value of the tools, products, and vendors that already exist. It’s by creating engineering-focused, value-driven content. Not with code, but by showing you the “why” behind a vendor/tool/product.

You don’t need me to show you how to use it. You need me to show you why you should use it.

The “why” is why (pun semi-intended) I’m switching a part of my focus. I want to show the “why”. There are a lot of absolutely amazing tools and vendors in the wild, some of which you most likely haven’t heard of. I want to help all engineers understand the “why” and the value behind these tools and vendors.

How Does This Change Things?

The TLDR is I’m still creating engineering-drive content, but you'll see more value-driven explanations as to why you should check out vendors/tools/products. Less about “how to use the thing” and more about “why should you use the thing”.

I’m really excited about this journey. It’s sparked something in me. At the time of writing this, it’s 1:29 PM and I still haven’t eaten yet because I can’t take my hands off of the keyboard… I’m truly that excited about this new mission.

Top comments (0)