Walking in others shoes, at least in spirit
In his post, Jeff quotes Eric Sink's post on 3 kinds of software:
Mr. Atwood then comments:
The developer creates software. The developer uses it. Nobody else does.
The developer creates software. Other people use it. The developer does not.
The developer creates software. Other people use it. The developer uses it too.
"It behooves software developers to understand users, to walk a mile in their shoes. If we can bridge the gap between users and ourselves-- even if only a little-- we start slowly converting our mediocre ThemWare into vastly superior UsWare. To really care about the software you're writing, you have to become a user, at least in spirit."I couldn't agree more, but I'd argue this sentiment extends to well beyond software development:
- Why is that time line so important to that marketing guy when it'll mean reduced quality or fewer features?
- How big a deal is it for the product casing to be a certain color when sold in a particular country?
- Where did that finance guy get that we had to spend money equally across the next three quarters instead of having just one big figure to draw from as we need throughout the year?
To really care about the project you're working on, you have to become the other people working on it, at least in spirit.
I could certainly do this more often myself and when I've taken the time to do so in the past it has paid off.
Labels: General stuff