As the tech industry evolves at a breakneck speed, the need for software engineers continues to grow. Software engineers are in great demand worldwide as companies need to develop end-user software solutions. Although software engineers are in demand, they also get fired for various reasons, just like other employees.
Here are 12 common reasons why software engineers get fired:
- The software engineer is not a good job fit.
- Underperformance by the software engineer.
- The software engineer fails to respond to feedback.
- The software engineer has burnout.
- The software engineer doesn’t keep up with technology shifts.
- The software engineer is too costly.
- The company is downsizing.
- Dismissal of engineers due to redundancy.
- The software engineer is disloyal to the company.
- The software engineer is not a good team player.
- The software engineer is not a good cultural fit.
- The software engineer has bad behavior in the workplace.
Let’s take a closer look at the 12 common reasons why software engineers get fired.
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Some software engineers are not a good job fit and can’t do the job the company hired them to do. As a software engineer, you might bluff your way through an interview and get hired. However, when you start working, the company discovers that you are unfamiliar with the software tool, framework, or technical language.
As a result, you may design and develop a product with many inaccuracies and defects. The company expects professional results, which you cannot deliver due to incompetency. In such a case, the company sadly realizes that you were a bad hire and may have no choice but to fire you.
They hope that they’ll get someone who can deliver the desired results.
The work of a software engineer may differ from one company to another. For instance, when a company hires you to design, develop, evaluate, and launch the software, the employer gives you timelines to achieve the desired results.
After the specified period, the employer assesses your performance.
If you haven’t achieved the desired results within the specified time, your employer is likely to look at you as an underperformer. When you underperform, the employer could give you a warning and additional time to produce the desired results.
However, in the worst-case scenario, the employer could fire you. The employer fires you not because you are not a good fit for the job but because you haven’t done enough.
As a result, your underperformance is a liability to the company, and they have to let you go.
As a software engineer, your work is to design and develop software to meet the needs of the business. Once you finish designing and developing the software, the company may test the product through the customers. After testing the software, the customers and the company give you feedback.
The feedback may include how the product works and what changes or improvements you need to make to your software.
After getting the feedback, the company expects you to respond by making the necessary changes and improvements to the product. The company realizes that as a software engineer, you are not perfect and are thus likely to make mistakes.
If you learn from your mistakes and agree to make the necessary improvements and changes to the software, your employer will be happy with you.
However, if you resist or fail to respond to the feedback, the company may have to fire you.
Sometimes, as a software engineer, you might develop a software burnout, which is a kind of chronic workplace stress characterized by skepticism, negativity, and reduced productivity. You could also experience feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
The causes of software burnout include working long hours, meeting strict deadlines, and a lack of free time.
If burnout goes unchecked, it could affect your professional performance and attitude, leading to underperformance and poor teamwork. As a result, you could get fired because burnout makes you a liability to the company.
Technology shifts rapidly, and as a software engineer, it’s essential to keep yourself updated with the current technology shifts. For instance, the repository, languages, and toolsets change quickly in software engineering.
Some software engineers cling to outdated skills instead of continuously improving themselves.
If you don’t adapt or continuously update yourself with the latest technological shifts, your skills will be outdated. A software engineer with obsolete skills can’t work competently, and as a result, the employer could fire you and employ someone who believes in continuously improving his skills.
Many people choose the software engineering career path because they realize that the demand for software engineers is high. So, if the company feels like you are too costly, they may decide to look for reasons to fire you, especially if your salary is a liability to the company and your skills are outdated.
After firing you, the company gets a fresh software engineer with the latest skills and pays him a lower wage than yours. The company thus gets new brains and reduces its overall salary expenditure.
It’s a win-win situation for the company.
Sometimes, as a software engineer, the company you work for may have financial issues. When a company has financial problems, one of the things it can do to stay afloat is to downsize the workforce.
The severity of the economic issues determines the employees the company will lay off.
If the company decides to downsize, the first casualties are incompetent, underperforming, or disloyal employees. If you are a software engineer and fall under any of these categories, you may get fired.
The employer will thus fire you and retain the software engineer who is a good performer.
Another reason why software engineers get fired is due to redundancy, which is when the company dismisses you because they no longer require you to do the job or if it plans to scrap the job.
There are various reasons why a company can declare you redundant, for example:
- The company is closing down and thus doesn’t require your services.
- The company is relocating to another city or country.
- The company has sold its shares to another company.
- The project has come to an end, and there’s nothing new on the horizon.
- The project has run out of funding.
- The employer has cash flow issues and cannot pay employees.
If the company declares you redundant due to any of the above reasons, you will have to leave your job as a software engineer.
A software engineer can also get fired if he’s disloyal to the company. Being unfaithful to the company means secretly doing things that are against the company’s policies or something that can destroy the company.
Some ways that a software engineer can be disloyal to the company are:
- Working secretly for a competitor.
- Creating a personal relationship with your employer’s clients.
- Doing a side business that conflicts with the interests of your employer.
- Selling your employer’s software to outsiders.
- Sharing the company’s confidential data with outsiders.
Being a good team player is essential when working as a software engineer. As a good team player, you contribute actively to the group you are working with so that the team can complete a project, meet the company’s goals, and manage projects.
You understand that the team’s success is your success.
You don’t work alone, as many projects require collaboration and teamwork. Each team member must play their part well for the project to succeed. If you are not a good team player, the project might not succeed, and the company may not get the desired results.
So, the company could fire you for not being a good team player.
Before a company hires you as a software engineer, it tries to determine whether you will be an excellent cultural fit. In simple terms, cultural fit is where your behavior, values, and beliefs closely align with the company’s behavior, values, and beliefs.
If you are an excellent cultural fit, you’ll contribute to the company’s success.
However, if the company realizes that you are not a good cultural fit, you could get fired. Often, a software engineer who is not a good cultural fit does not get on well with team members and does not interact with the customers well. He also does not like how the company operates.
Such a software engineer may thus become a rotten apple and negatively influence other employees and customers. Even if you are a great software engineer but aren’t a good cultural fit, the company may have no alternative but to fire you.
Most companies cannot tolerate bad behavior from employees either within or outside the workplace. There are some behaviors that the company will not entertain from you, even if you are a top performer.
Some of these bad behaviors include:
- Drunkenness in the workplace.
- Using drugs in the workplace.
- Sexual harassment
- Bullying other employees.
- Stealing the company’s time or property.
- Being poorly groomed.
- Rudeness to colleagues.
Bad behavior in the workplace comes in different sizes and shapes, and it impacts the company and other employees negatively. So, if you display any of the destructive behaviors mentioned above, your employer could give you a warning. However, if the bad behavior persists, you could get fired.
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