The non-developers guide to handle developers

Philipp Reinking
Sep 30, 2017 · 4 min read

A developer (sometimes also called out nerd) is a really novel species living in offices all over the world. They often need careful attendance when it comes to social interaction with a generic Homo sapiens. You, the non-developer, can use this collection of best practices, if you want to fuck up your relationship with your developers.

1. Only talk to a developer when he has his headphones on

We all have seen this strange behaviour before. A common developer characterisation is that they are introvert humans. When plugging on their headphones, they try to signal you that they bored by their current work or want social interaction. Don’t let him wait too long and approach them with the newest office gossip or a new bug.

2. Never ask a developer for his opinion on a new feature idea

Developers tend to have strong opinions on the things, which they have to build. Sometimes they say that a feature is a bad idea because it will affect other parts of your system or take too much time to implement. Never talk with them about this kind of topic, because excuses are a common behaviour pattern among developers to avoid upcoming work.

3. If you need something ASAP, ask a developer to do it

We all have been in this situation where our boss needs an updated report or you want to finish your own work, so you can call it a day. Do not hesitate to offload this work to a developer. Call the thing ASAP, and a developer can immediately start to work on your project.

4. Assume that every development task takes the same amount of time

Yesterday your developer finished the new feature in under 2 hours? This, of course, means that the other feature you planned will take the same amount of time to put in place. Say your developer to finish it in 2 hours again.

5. Change the plan

Sometimes your developers needs special challenges. If you think that they feel bored by their current work (something that happens all the times), then change the plan. You can do this by creating random new tickets that came to your mind or shuffling around with the tickets on the developers Kanban board. Of course, you can do that every few days, to keep them busy.

6. Keep telling your developers that you are a programmer too

Since all developers are more or less afraid of non-developers you can try to connect to them on a developer level. Tell them that you are also a programmer and show them what you have written in the HTML programming language. They will most often appreciate it. But some developers will also tell you that HTML is not a real programming language. If that’s the case then ignore it, because you just met a so called system engineer or backend developer.

7. Tell your developers which languages and frameworks they should use

Sometimes it is nice to give your developers advice on programming languages, frameworks or libraries. If your new neighbour tells you that his company uses jQuery now, that is a clear sign that you should use the same technology in your own Android or iOS app.

8. Say that you need the new website to work with IE8

Developers are nostalgic people. They love nerdy stuff like for example old arcade games from the eighties. In general they have a deep respect for technology created in the past. Do them a favour and tell them to make the new website also work with the older versions of the famous Internet Explorer.

9. If you have questions about a certain Word/Excel/Powerpoint feature, ask a developer

Whenever you got in the situation where you got stuck to make something work in Excel or a similar tool, then ask your next developer for help. All developers are experts in these tools and are happy when they can share their knowledge on it.

10. Always arrange a meeting

It is somehow strange, but most developers hate to communicate with e-Mail or simple chat. If you find yourself in the rare situation where you need a developers advice or opinion on something, then arrange a meeting. A meeting room gives a developer enough space to work out his thoughts and to do a presentation on solving your question.


By reading theses tips, you may come to your own conclusion, that you never ever should do anything of that. Designing and programming software always requires a deep understanding of the available technology. It requires much thinking and it requires time. Be thoughtful when interrupting a developer on his current work and I guarantee you that every developer will like you. Now an then you can send them funny gifs or memes to make them really happy.

Originally published at on September 30, 2017.

Philipp Reinking

Written by

Software Developer 💡avid indiehacker 🖥 noob writer📝 book reader 📕

how hackers start their afternoons.

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