Here’s Why Directing Programmers Often Fails

Dit is waarom het aansturen van programmeurs niet lukt

During the development of software, things regularly go wrong in the direction of programmers. The entrepreneur has an idea and that concept is passed on to the programmers. And with the translation of the idea into programmable bits, it often goes wrong. The entrepreneur asks for X and the programmers deliver Y. How is this possible? There are different reasons due to which directing programmers fails. And actually, all the mentioned reasons can all be traced back to one true reason. If you tackle that reason, you solve the rest as well.

4 Reasons Why Directing Programmers Fails

Here are the 4 most common reasons why directing programmers fails:

  • Unclear definition: The definition is usually communicated to the programmers in insufficient detail. The startup often verbally asks the programmers to build the idea, but programmers need a lot more details to understand exactly what you mean. And there are good methods to record this – in various forms.
  • Erroneous expectations: The startup expects the programmers to flesh out the idea and to return with the same as what the startup means. But because the startup does not describe and record the idea well, programmers return with something else. There are also often different interpretations of what a task entails, and for example, what it means when functionality is ‘complete’.
  • Not speaking the same language: Startups and programmers speak different languages. And we mean both the spoken language and the programming language.
  • Programmers abroad: Startups often work with programmers from other countries. Therefore, communication does not always go well, because you have to transmit everything remotely and in a different language. In addition, there are many more moments of consultation if you work together in the office, whereas you have to plan everything formally when you work remotely. The culture is also different, which means expectations regarding behavior do differ. In the Southeast of the world, for example, hierarchy is very common, whereas in the Netherlands we have a more flat organization culture.

When directing programmers fails, entrepreneurs often look for these kinds of reasons. And they usually point to the programmers. They say, for example, that they are strange creatures who speak a different language. Or the company they are collaborating with is ‘bad’. Programmers, on the other hand, blame the project managers because they don’t manage the project effectively. And thus you remain in a vicious circle without a concrete solution.

And actually there is only one real reason

In reality, only one thing is missing and that is a good process. This is a process with which you direct the idea of the entrepreneur in the right way – in programming language – to the programmers. The process also includes various actors, such as project managers, who ensure the vision is translated into functionalities and programmable bits. And that these programmable bits are again fleshed out in user stories and codes. This is an extensive process for which you need a good step-by-step plan and the right people.

From Idea to Programmable Bits

In the process of building software, you thus have to detail out the definition of functionality. This goes beyond just stating: ‘I need to be able to press a button so that an email is sent’. What screen and which place should this button appear? When does the button appear? Who should be able to click the button? What is in the email? And is there also an email protocol? All such questions need to be answered and described before programmers can build. And for this, you need a good process.

Directing Programmers Easily

If you have this process in order and put the right people to work, then directing programmers is no longer so difficult. Do you want to know how to set up such a process? Then feel free to make an appointment! The experts at Wise Minds would be happy to tell you more!


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