Saturday, November 23, 2013

Technologists... keep your eye on the prize! Results!

First, let me preface this post... and admit I do have my "favorite" development tools, architectures, etc..  I believe that continuous development of technology skills, programming, network, etc. are important. However, you should judge your success on the quality of products you deliver your customers, not the number of lines of code you develop.  The latter are irrelevant to your customers, as is the underlying technology.

Let me say that from my customers' perspective... they couldn't care if our projects are developed using Ruby on Rails, python, PHP, or ASP.NET.  They want applications that serve their requirements, that are user friendly, and that can be delivered on time.  Technology is about preference, and efficiency.  Obviously, it's much easier to develop in some languages and tools than others... and some tools lend themselves to improved interface design.

Delivering results comes down to understanding the requirements, and getting the best tool for the job, then designing to meet customer requirements, and delivering excellent customer service.  My customer has no idea what's under the hood.

Do you care about the material composition of the metal in your engine, or is it sufficient to know that it comes with a 100,000 mile warranty?  You judge the quality of the car by how well it runs.... not the composition of the metals...  or brand of computer chips that controls the engine, or offer creature comforts.  It's about delivering results, on time.  If you order a car, and it takes three years to receive instead of six weeks, are you satisfied?  What if it was because they wanted the car to be 100% perfect, and that takes time... and your car is over-budget by five times?  Or, will you settle for a few minor blemishes, and get it in budget within the time guaranteed?  Oh, and how much magnesium was in the engine block?  At this point, who cares?

I am very interested in technology... my customers are not... they want results.  They shouldn't need to know the technical details... I need to meet them on their communications level, and talk their language.  When people focus on technology, they may lose site of the customer requirements and desires.  If you have no customers, you have no need for technology.

So, focus on what is important... results... deliver these on-time... using whatever technology you prefer... and one which is transparent to your customer.  There are too many projects that fail because technologists lose site of the prize, don't let yours suffer the same fate.  It's about balancing technology with customer requirements, and staying within budget.