Software Developers Decoded
There are many misconceptions surrounding software developers, some based on personal experiences and others based on exposure to television stereotypes such as the Big Bang Theory.
Though you will find them working within their own bubbles, with phones disabled, earphones blaring music and fingers typing across keyboards at the speed one would expect from superman, popping this bubble for a brief question un-related to the work being undertaken can be met with the expectation that the building must be on fire.
At Studio IQ, I think it’s time to address these myths and debunk them!
To start let’s address one of my personal favourites: time vs quality.
Software developers are taught to adhere to strict guidelines and best practices, specialising in skills that have provided us with exciting apps, games, computer programs and our own websites amongst much more. Time management takes a backseat to quality in their eyes, and they are notorious for this!
For developers the world over, deadlines are extremely hard to determine and set in concrete – so many things need to be allowed for: development, review, testing, bug fixes and the list goes on. It’s as though they afraid of the word ‘deadline’. For any project manager, account manager or business coordinator this mentality can prove to be extremely frustrating. What are they scared of?
The universal response: QUALITY – this is an obsession, a sign of pride. Every project balances a “triangle” of schedule, scope and cost, within the centre of this triangle is quality. “You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two.” This is a phrase developers have used for decades. Particularly when project requirements are coming from every angle: the project manager wants a smooth running project, the business wants a happy client, and the client wants the project completed yesterday.
Communication is key. There may be project managers and business managers in the mix but at the end of the day quality is, and will always be, the focal point of each project – not just for Software developers but also clients.
Anyone who has had exposure to software developers, whether commercially or personally, may find themselves walking away mystified and/or slightly confused – “Why do I feel we are speaking separate languages?” This I say from experience. When starting with Studio IQ the word ‘mystified’ does not do justice to the emotions I was experiencing - 4 years in and I still find myself feeling like it’s my first day all over again.
So we can see that time vs quality is definitely a misconception. There is no ‘time vs quality’, instead ‘time = quality’. With best practice, innovation and quality constantly running through their minds, developers will always request more time, to ensure they produce products they are proud of.
There are plenty more myths surrounding software developers: They are all geeks, they have poor social skills, reading comics and online gaming is their favourite past-time or that they wear suspenders. Though our office does look very much like this:
Over the following weeks I'll be on an expedition to see what these developers are really all about. Do you have any questions or expectations you have about software developers and/or their stereotypes? Let me explore for you, don’t hold back!