Lessons Learned from the Intersection of Software Engineering and Robotics


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 30, 2023

3 min read


Lessons Learned from the Intersection of Software Engineering and Robotics


In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, professionals in various industries are constantly seeking opportunities to leverage automation and innovative solutions. This article draws insights from two distinct fields - software engineering and robotics - to highlight valuable lessons and principles that can be applied across domains. By combining the experiences of a software engineer at Instagram & Facebook and the founders of Mujin, a robotics company, we can identify common themes that drive success in problem-solving, product development, and personal growth.

Lesson 1: Fall in Love with the Problem, Not Your Solution

Both the software engineer and the founders at Mujin emphasize the importance of focusing on the core problem rather than becoming attached to a specific solution. By iterating quickly, testing hypotheses, and leveraging data, they were able to create successful products for their respective customers. This approach allows for flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances and evolving user needs. Embracing the concept of thrash - the natural byproduct of this iterative process - enables continuous improvement and innovation.

Lesson 2: Simplicity as the Key to Problem Solving

Across both software engineering and robotics, the principle of simplicity holds significant value. The software engineer consistently found that the simplest solution is often the right one when tackling complex problems. Similarly, the founders at Mujin developed teachless technology that allows robots to think through movements themselves, mimicking human-like behavior. By prioritizing simplicity, both disciplines achieve efficiency, effectiveness, and user-friendly experiences.

Lesson 3: The Power of Soft Skills and Effective Communication

While technical expertise is essential, the most successful software engineers and robotics professionals possess a combination of coding skills and strong soft skills. In an increasingly asynchronous communication landscape, the ability to write effectively becomes crucial. Clear and concise communication facilitates collaboration, problem-solving, and the ability to influence and empower others. Developing strong soft skills enhances one's impact, scope, and influence within a team or organization.

Lesson 4: Taking Responsibility and Empowering Others

A common thread among the experiences shared is the recognition that while circumstances may not always be within our control, we bear full responsibility for our actions and outcomes. The software engineer found that the most rewarding aspect of their work was not solely focused on their own achievements but rather on empowering others to excel. By enabling others to grow and succeed, individuals can amplify their impact, expand their influence, and drive meaningful change.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace a mindset of continuous iteration and learning. Seek opportunities to test and gather data, allowing for rapid improvement and adaptation.
  • 2. Prioritize simplicity in problem-solving. Often, the simplest solution is the most effective and user-friendly.
  • 3. Invest in developing both technical and soft skills. Effective communication and collaboration are key to success in any field.


The intersection of software engineering and robotics offers valuable insights for professionals across various disciplines. By focusing on the core problem, embracing simplicity, honing soft skills, and empowering others, individuals can drive impactful change and achieve personal growth. As technology continues to advance, these lessons will remain relevant, guiding individuals towards success in the ever-evolving landscape of innovation and automation.

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