How to Talk to Engineers

Communicate with Software Engineers Even if You Can’t!

Caleb Rogers
Dec 22, 2020 · 4 min read
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Photo by Chris Moore on Unsplash

Software engineers can be a tough bunch to communicate with. We can be nerdy, we can be cocky, we can have no social skills whatsoever…

I’m going to give you 4 solid tips that you, as a business-oriented individual or perhaps a creative entrepreneur, can use to effectively communicate what you need so you get the results that you want.

Imagine you need a developer to set up a web store for you, an artist, to sell prints of your work. You can’t just walk up to one and say, “I need a website to sell my art. How much would that cost?”

They’re going to look at you and utter something like, “Um…”

If, however, this engineer runs their own development shop or has experience running projects, they’re doing to know how to dig into that extremely vague ask. They’ll start with probing questions to try and figure out the scope of your request. Like do you want something fully custom or do you need help setting up a Shopify store?

This imaginary conversation will eventually get you where you need to be, but there will likely be some speed bumps along the way.

How to avoid as many speed bumps as possible?

Whether you’re approaching an engineer you’ve never met before, cold-calling dev shops, or walking up to someone who has worked in your company for the past 12 years, these 4 tips can help speed things along.

With a little practice, YOU TOO can learn how to communicate with software engineers. With even more practice, you might even be able to train them to communicate effectively back to you.

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