Titles in companies does not mean anything.

I just had a "Lead Software Engineer" asking me what TLS was

  • 3
    Lead SWE doesn’t mean he/ she is a senior engineer, but a valid point nevertheless.
  • 2
    I sometimes wonder how these people live.
  • 27
    So every software developer should know every acronym for every discipline in software?
  • 10
    Agree with the first line.
    But the second is no reason.

    Depending on the domain, the dev may need to know different things.
  • 1
    @Demolishun If you don't know the absolute basics of how the web works as a senior software engineer, you are incompetent.
  • 23
    @PrivateGER I don't write web software. I write software to control motors, read sensors, display graphs. I rarely use security related stuff. When I do I try to understand best practices and follow guides. If I don't understand what something is I look it up. I don't memorize anything.

    Memorizing acronyms is not the same as having basic understanding of web anyway.
  • 0
    @Demolishun Ah, embedded. Yeah, that's around the only excused field.
  • 14
    @PrivateGER “Knowing things” is not a sign of competence.
    Understanding them and how quickly you do so, is.
  • 4
    @-red And having broad knowledge is a sign of knowing your field.
    This discussion can go on forever.
  • 19
    It is funny. I write a secure industrial server for the opcua protocol. I know how to setup the encryption, create keys, etc to keep the connection secure. But I never bothered to remember what TLS meant. If I need to know I look it up. The security for my server was designed by someone else. Someone who is far better at networking protocols than I am.

    Now my programs use the kernel of the OS. Should I also know intimately all the acronyms of the kernel devs use?

    I am also impressed that the lead dev admits to when he doesn't know things. That is someone who actively learns and grows. Why is every weakness need to be attacked and criticized?
  • 7
    My skip level manager, Sr Director asks me how to use share screen feature on Zoom.

    Not necessarily everyone knows everything and we shouldn't tie knowledge to hierarchy or experience.

    People might be expert in different areas than you and that's why diversity matters.
  • 5
    While I think that everyone should know what TLS means, I don't think it's "bad" to have to look it up.

    Edit: Means is in "crypto connection"...

    As long as you are honest, it's ok.

    What pisses me off is when people start to fake it to make it.

    Aka... sure TLS is very important.

    Yeah we need TLS 5.

    Yes. Absolutely!

    ... Except that there is no TLS 5.

    Oh... Ehm... Eh.

    These are conversations where I really need to keep myself grounded cause I wanna physically harm a person.

    Good when you immediately find it out, bad if you realize it only after a few days and have to suddenly clean up a huge mess and reorganize the whole project.
  • 4
    Basically anyone who has used a web browser should have some idea of what TLS relates to.
  • 9
    Here we are discussing if everyone should know everything, and I thought that was exactly what TLS was created to prevent.
  • 0
    @-red disagree, it's not even linked to your actual job. You're browsing the web and should at least have basic understanding on what prevent your neighbor from sniffing your traffic. It's common sense.
  • 2
    Not to mention TLS is a new term for SSL.
  • 1
    Mfw I came in to shit about how I helped out a senior-senior C dev resolve a C++ compile error just by looking at the error in chat but then I read the comments and wow.
    I'm humbled, you good people.

    I don't know how but this place has become more wholesome than what I remember.
  • 0
    @Demolishun By form of passion and education they should know most common acronyms, yes. I already knew all these when I was a kid, lol.

    This is not about every acronym, it's about a very common acronym that should be known by any software developer with a basic education. You have to know what TLS is, as much as you have to know what AES or TKIP are. For example, at my previous job I had to already know what DKIM, DMARC and SPF were so I could do secure e-mail transactions between API's and I would have the know-how on advising and reassuring clients their data was safe. We live in modern software development and (in this case) security can't be ignored. Here's another one: OAuth2.

    Even if a team lead isn't necessarily a trained software developer, they should know the basic concepts at least at a high level (like my previous manager did) so that they can negotiate between developers what the best approach is and also understand why.
  • 4
    @CaptainRant Not everyone who writes software has to write network security.

    I have written software to communicate to web servers via https. I didn't need to memorize any of those terms to accomplish this. I abstracted all of those details out of my business logic.
  • 3
    @ostream Perhaps I should’ve worded my first comment better.

    Sure, it’s important to know that such a thing exists and in what context. No need to really know how it works depending on your field of work.

    In either case, the point is.. is it reason enough to call someone undeserving of a particular title irrespective of which field they work in ?

    I don’t think so. There are people who are absolutely brilliant at something and not so much when it comes to other things. That’s just how it is.
  • 3
    Those pieces of information that you mentioned can be found out with negligible effort. If someone never had a reason to look them up, that’s fine.

    They cannot prevent someone with specialist knowledge in an area from being given a role in that specialist area.

    Software engineering is a general thing and can be used in a looooooooot of different areas.
  • 0
    @Demolishun It's not about that, it's about basic knowledge. Security is basic knowledge, as much as networking is. Not knowing that acronym is just strange. It's like a developer who doesn't know what the SDLC is. I'm not stressing on the acronym here but on knowledge of the basic concepts, which knowing the acronym of does help.

    It is indeed good knowing how to implement something but it's equally important knowing the fundamentals behind it. People have their preferences but as an engineer I think it's fundamentally wrong to look up things last-minute. It may have its benefits but I don't think people should tinker with things just ad-hoc. They should have a framework of basic and fundamental concepts in their head. This is why they teach Computer Science at educational institutions.. because we aren't implementers, we are thinkers.
  • 0
    @-red It's not fine because it's part of the basic education of being a software developer, no matter what field you are in. I'm not a fan of complacency.

    It's like many great professors said: "It's not ok to be mediocre". Per analogy, I wouldn't want a clueless and uneducated holistic practitioner with ad-hoc skills operating on my hurt loved one, I would want a doctor because they know fundamentals strongly and are fully competent.
  • 4
    @CaptainRant I have never seen SDLC used as an acronym before. I looked it up, I know what it means. I have had interviews where we talk about which one they used. This just seems like unnecessary flexing.

    I am glad I don't work in an environment where people stab each other in the back over perceived knowledge gaps. Which is what the original post looks like to me.

    You know what I do when I don't know something at work? I ask the CS guys if its CS related. You know what they do when they need to know something pertaining to my background? They ask me questions. There is mutual respect and we help fill in these gaps so that we learn together. We are developing hardware and software and constantly switching gears as we do. When I use terms CS or EE related terms with my boss and he doesn't know them, he asks what they are.
  • 6
    @CaptainRant I love how all your perceived notions of what someone knows or doesn't know ends in finding fault in the targeted person. "If you don't know what I know then you are stupid, uneducated, a hack, etc."

    When I started writing software full time I spent every day learning something new that pertained to my job. IF I needed to know it.
  • 2

    Should a CS professional know how to program with pointers?
  • 1
    @AlgoRythm "new".

    *cough* *cough*

    Elderly home? 😇🤣
  • 2
    @IntrusionCM my 22nd birthday is Friday and you're not helping
  • 2

    TLS 1.0 was released around 2000 xD

    Don't worry, I'm sure you're one hell of a handsome guy.

    I can't stop laughing, though.
  • 0

    TLS is essential.
  • 0

    You defending this dev is hilarious
    Even My Mother in law know what TLS/SSL is.
  • 0
    @Linux I think my ego may be getting in the way of reason. Eh.
  • 1
    @Demolishun depends if they are a web dev.
  • 0
    Only ones that matter are the 3 letter ones starting with C
  • 6
    May not be his field of engineering, he might have forgotten that particular acronym, maybe he was distracted...a job title should not mark you out as a senior, loudly considering a fellow engineer to be unworthy because they do not know a thing certainly marks you out as a junior.

    Nobody knows anything.
  • 3
    The other day someone jokingly told me that the hotkey to something was alt F4. For a second I believed him and said, oh really? Then right before I tried it, I remembered what that combination that I use every day is for. I guess I'm a retard and should go pick up boxes at a warehouse, despite teaching this other programmer half of the stuff he's been using in his job. I committed the sin of not remembering something at some point.
  • 3
    there are way too many acronyms in our industry.
    But yes, thread-local storage and thread level speculation should be well-known concepts.
  • 1
    I hate overuse of acronyms.
  • 1
    @Demolishun nope but it is rather unlikely that a senior never encountered that one. It belongs in the list ip, tcp, udp, dns, dhcp, smtp, ssl, http. Kinda hard to miss unless you don't come near networking
  • 1

    Yes, it is one of the basics
  • 2
    Kinda funny looking at this conversation as a “senior software engineer” but I don’t know what TLS is
Add Comment