MOO: Using your product

If you are a developer, and you’re not using the product you are developing, you are doing it wrong.

If you’re not using the product you’re developing, either no one else is because it isn’t valuable or compelling at all, or you personally do not value it and so should not be the one developing it.

So either find a new job or start using your product. You don’t have to need the product. You have to use your product.

Using your product has 3 main benefits:

  1. You gain the perspective of the user, which means you can identify pain-points, and ways to improve it. This also have the effect of instilling more empathy for your customers.
  2. It’s the surest way to QA the product. You find the bugs first, and can get a head start on fixing it, so that you can make the best product possible.
  3. Arguably most importantly, it will help you to understand your codebase inside and out. You can recognize patterns, or a lack thereof, in the UI. Then, when a designer gives you new designs for a new component, you will know if you can re-use any existing components, or repurpose them. You also can start to familiarize yourself with the entire system, even if you have not personally coded that aspect of your product. For example, if you did not create the payment system, but that is a part of your app, you can see it from the user perspective, and then match it to your codebase. Understanding the way systems work will help you to become a better engineer in general, and the more familiar and knowledgeable you are with your company’s codebase, the more valuable you are to your company.

So, use your product.

Just my humble opinion ;)