At first, inviting a software engineer to Thanksgiving may seem like an absurd idea, but humor this. Thanksgiving is one of the best days of the year. It checks all the boxes for a great holiday — Family, Friends, Football, and Food! For some, though, there’s another element to Thanksgiving — Fear!
With busy work and personal schedules, getting Thanksgiving-ready requires a fair amount of planning, effort, coordination, and creativity. One misstep and you could end up trending on your family’s social media pages well into the New Year.
#thanksgivingdisaster is a hard tag to live down!
Why You Should Invite a Software Engineer to Thanksgiving
Everyone thinks twice before putting cousin Jeff on their Thanksgiving Day guest list. After all, Jeff’s a software engineer who spends most of his waking hours staring at a computer. This doesn’t exactly make Jeff the life of the party.
But geeky Jeff’s skills from his software engineering job at Google may be just what you need to keep your Thanksgiving from turning into a total Pinterest fail.
Engineering the Perfect Thanksgiving
1. Project Turkey
Thanksgiving dinner is usually a collaborative effort between multiple members of the family. And we all know what they say about too many cooks in a kitchen!
If you want to keep the night from devolving into chaos, you’ll need someone familiar with organizing and coordinating different tasks.
Cue Jeff, CTO — Software Engineer by day and Chief Turkey Officer by night.
Software engineers commonly work on projects that involve multiple teams working together to achieve a common goal. From the main to the sides to dessert and beverages, Jeff will ensure dinner prep runs with the kind of efficiency only a software engineer is capable of.
You may be left wondering how you ever got through Thanksgiving without a whiteboard, a floor plan, individual work-stations, and defined processes with measurable outcomes.
2. Decoding Recipes
Your Grandma’s cooking was legendary, and you’ve decided to replicate some of her dishes. Except, you’re scratching your head wondering how to convert a recipe for four to feed a party of twenty.
How many smidgens to an ounce? Why does the temperature of the turkey change according to the dimensions of the baking tray? Did you miss fractions in school? Now you’ll never get the ratio of binder to liquid right. And why does bread have to come in cubes? Do you need equal amounts of sauce and gravy?
Pretty soon, Grandma’s recipes start looking like annoying math problems that belong in the bin along with your third unsuccessful batch of stuffing.
Jeff isn't much of a talker. However, as a software engineer, his superior math skills and ability to develop large-scale solutions can help you figure out the perfect proportions to ensure all of your guests, including the dog, have plenty of perfectly-cooked food.
3. What Does This Button Do?
Cooking a large meal usually involves working with kitchen gadgets and appliances to make cooking easy as apple pie.
Except your apple pie refuses to bake as you try to figure out the seventeen different commands on your smart oven, or why your new digital meat thermometer tells you the time in three different time zones but not if the turkey is done.
What you need is someone who speaks computer.
Tech-savvy Jeff’s software programming skills will have all your different devices running per your commands in no time. Software engineers are keen problem-solvers. Having one around to resolve all your technical glitches will keep you from getting overwhelmed and reaching for the take-out menus.
4. Launching Dinner
Getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table in time is no mean feat. Syncing cooking timelines to ensure the sauce, stuffing, turkey, and pie are done simultaneously is nothing short of a race to the finish line.
Jeff’s time management skills are the perfect solution to putting up a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.
Software engineers constantly work under pressure and tight deadlines. A houseful of hungry people has nothing on demanding software clients. Not only will he help you devise the perfect cooking schedule, but he’ll also help you stay on top of it.
As a software engineer, Jeff is used to dealing with challenging situations with multiple stakeholders before a product launch. Whether it’s the dog that needs a walk or a last-minute grocery run, Jeff’s multi-tasking skills will keep distractions at bay while you get on with dinner.
As a bonus, once nosy Aunt Ida finds out obscure cousin Jeff is around, she’ll stay out of your hair as she pries him with questions like “How much does a software engineer make?” or “What is the average software engineer salary at Google?” or “Why do software engineers earn so much and still wear hoodies to Thanksgiving dinners?”
5. Make Thanksgiving Insta-Worthy
You’ve finally got dinner ready, the turkey’s a perfect golden-brown, the table is set, your Thanksgiving decor is on point, and everyone’s hair is in place. All that’s left to do is to capture this perfect moment with a picture.
You’re usually the family photographer, getting pictures of everyone else but rarely featuring in them.
Jeff to the rescue again! Not only is he generous enough to take your Thanksgiving photo, but he also gets the most Insta-worthy holiday shot you’ve ever had!
Chalk that down to his engineering skills too. You probably didn’t know this, but people with software engineer jobs pay a lot of attention to details. Unlike Jeff, you wouldn't have noticed Uncle Jo's mismatched socks sticking out from under the table or that the cranberry sauce you worked so hard on was hidden behind the squash.
Programming also requires immense patience, developing and debugging code until it’s error-free and perfect to use.
That’s probably why Jeff didn’t have a meltdown, like you usually do, trying to get everyone to stop looking in different directions and smile for the camera ‘just this once’ for the hundred and seventeenth time.
And once you’ve got that perfect shot, it’s time to sit down and dig in.
With a software engineer around, you’re likely to find a solution to most of your holiday problems. That’s a pretty good reason to be grateful you invited a software engineer to Thanksgiving dinner!
P.S. If you want to be a software engineer like Jeff, read some great preparation tips on a software engineer job here!
FAQs on Software Engineer Jobs
Q1. How much do software engineers make?
According to Glassdoor, software engineers (entry-level) can earn an annual starting salary of $57,000 - $100,000
Q2. Which companies offer the best software engineer jobs?
FAANG companies are popular employers of choice for software engineers’ jobs. Read “List of the Best Companies to Work for as a Software Engineer” to find the top companies and cities for software engineering jobs.
Q3. What is the average software engineer salary in the US?
According to Payscale, the average software engineer salary in the US varies based on years of experience. The average salary for a software engineer with around one year of experience is about $77,195. The average salary for a software engineer with around five years of experience is approximately $96,677.
Q4. What is the average software engineer salary for senior software engineer jobs?
According to Payscale, the average software engineer salary for engineers with over 20 years of experience is approx. $116,024.
Q5. Which software engineering job pays the highest salary?
According to Indeed, the highest software engineer salary is earned by system engineers, which is up to $102,102.
If you’re wondering how you can land a software engineering job at a FAANG company and get invited to a Thanksgiving dinner like Jeff, register for our free webinar — How to Nail Your Next Technical Interview.