Valuing development

Something that's been on my mind lately… heck, as a developer I suppose it’s on all our minds, most of the time:

That fine line between being a jobs-worth gobshite, and a helpful, customer-focused developer (NOTE: I use the term “developer” as opposed to “programmer” — to me, “development” means doing more than just delivering lines of code as per spec.)

In this frame of mind, I read the latest post at Joel On Software and of course, it resonated. Yet Joel is writing from the perspective of a software development house. Tchcoh! We “corporate developers” work like this on every project Joel! Everything is custom:

“Custom development is that murky world where a customer tells you what to build, and you say, ‘are you sure?’ and they say yes, and you make an absolutely beautiful spec, and say, ‘is this what you want?’ and they say yes, and you make them sign the spec in indelible ink, nay, blood, and they do, and then you build that thing they signed off on, promptly, precisely and exactly, and they see it and they are horrified and shocked, and you spend the rest of the week reading up on whether your E&O insurance is going to cover the legal fees for the lawsuit you've gotten yourself into or merely the settlement cost. Or, if you’re really lucky, the customer will smile wanly and put your code in a drawer and never use it again and never call you back.”

Joel goes on to write an extremely good essay entitled Set Your Priorities. Of course, this is something you can do when you’re your own boss. It is slightly more difficult when you’re not, more’s the pity. [smiley Sad]

(As for what Joel thinks about leaving the clutter on your desk, well, our desk police would have a coronary…)

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.