Developers: You’ve Got 99 Problems but Your Code Ain’t One

Coding elegant solutions is only the start…follow these tips for career-enhancing success

Stu Cavill
Jun 15, 2020 · 12 min read
Developer surrounded by stakeholders telling him what they want
Developer surrounded by stakeholders telling him what they want
Developers have several key stakeholders, all with their own driving factors (Image created by S. Cavill)
  • Ensure expectations are met
  • Realize customer-pleasing business value sooner
  • Emphasize leadership qualities in yourself
  • Improve engagement and morale amongst teams
Tester horizontal rule
Tester horizontal rule

Testers

Often downstream of the output you produce, Testers are your safety net. On a good day, they can be seen as an added layer of bureaucracy, slowing down the time it takes for your latest feature to hit Production. On a bad day, they prove you’ve overlooked a particular scenario within 5 minutes flat.

Hand-over don’t throw-over

Most teams use tools such as Jira, Azure DevOps or Trello to track the progress of their deliverables. Due to this, it’s often too easy for a Developer to move their item of work from the “Coding” column to the “Testing” column, implicitly expecting the Testers to check their work at their earliest convenience.

Don’t fob them off

“Ah, don’t worry about testing that…it’s untestable. Trust me, it works…”

  • Stand their ground and reject the work. If it’s not testable, it reflects the Developer’s inability to write high-quality code, not the Tester’s inability to do their job.
Product Owner horizontal rule
Product Owner horizontal rule

Product Owners

There are varying types of Product Owner but they all have something in common — the desire to augment their product with features to satisfy their customers.

“Give it to me straight…can this be done?”

Product Owners are full of ideas…some great, some not-so. To aid them on the path to product discovery, it’s beneficial that you try and discuss their future plans with them and the team.

Honest estimates

Product Owners will come to you with their vision and ask you, “how long will it take to deliver this?”. (Or in Agile, “what effort will it take to deliver this?”).

Project Manager horizontal rule
Project Manager horizontal rule

Project Managers

You’ll often find Project Managers in the mix when client-specific functionality needs to be delivered by a given deadline. Being the conduit between the customer and your business, they’ll often mirror the emotions of the customer. When a deadline has been hit, they’ll exude gratitude and celebrate your successes with you. Understandably, however, if the delivery plan is showing signs of being jeopardized, it’s not uncommon to see your Project Manager start losing their cool.

“How’s things progressing?”

When kept in the dark, Project Managers will hunt you down to find the answers out themselves. This may well happen midway through the day when you’re in flow state and at your most productive. It’s frustrating therefore to find someone at your desk questioning how things are going and if everything is still on track.

Be open and honest

A project delivery plan that is left in a red state is of no use. Imagine standing in the middle of a road, seeing a car one kilometre away from you driving towards you and choosing to do nothing to stop it from hitting you.

Support Team horizontal rule
Support Team horizontal rule

Support Team

Imagine if you had to stop work every time a customer wished to ask you a question about the software you developed. You’d never get anything done!

“Let me show you where the problem is…”

Electronic tooling allows tickets from the Support Team to be passed to the Development Team without needing to meet face to face.

Share your knowledge

During my years as a Developer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some exceptional Support Teams. Support Teams filled with people that have the desire to move mountains to ensure their customer is happy. People that have the subject matter expertise to understand the most complex of queries. Within these Support Teams, you’re also likely to find people at the start of their careers looking to take their next step into the world of information technology.

DevOps Engineer horizontal rule
DevOps Engineer horizontal rule

DevOps Engineers

You may have coded the greatest feature your company has seen to date but unless it is deployed and made available to your end customers, no business value will be realized. Likewise, once your new software is released into the wild, how do you know it’s functioning as expected?

Think delivery, not just development

It’s one thing coding a solution, it’s another thing to deliver it in its working form to the customer.

“Ok, we’ve just deployed it but how do we know it‘s working as expected?”

Your work is now deployed and “live”. How do we know it’s gone to plan though?

…Communication is Queen

By knowing what drives each of your stakeholders, you can align your actions with what they wish to achieve. This symbiotic relationship can be strengthened by practicing the interactions mentioned in this article.

ILLUMINATION

We curate outstanding articles from diverse domains and…

Stu Cavill

Written by

Agile leader with a passion for getting the best out of humans in this technology-driven world. All views are that of my own

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

Stu Cavill

Written by

Agile leader with a passion for getting the best out of humans in this technology-driven world. All views are that of my own

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

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