Developer Need to Understand the Business

I noticed a great piece on Forbes, “Onefinestay COO: Why I Send The Techies Out With The Cleaners” describing how one company rotates their developer with the front line worker. I find that it is a great idea. Why ?

IT people in general, including developers, live on the edge of technology. As a result, they are very far ahead of the general population and tend to live in their own world. If you read in articles, whether in-print or online, you will find that the gap between IT and business world always come up.

The main reason behind the gap is always because business and IT goes their own way. When a feature arrive at IT department from business department, there are no reason behind it. Business department just say, “Just get this feature done”. So, IT will create their own version of the features, which are not always in line with what business wants.

While what happens at Onefinestay is very specific, the idea itself is sound. Get the developer understand how the system works. What metrics are important. Which features are good. This way, when developer works on the application, they understand the reason behind a specific features.

By understanding the reason, they can create the feature to be a better fit for the company.

So, if you are a developer, try to understand the business scope of the application and its usage.

While, if you are a business person, please involve IT in the business line, or at least when you request a feature, give a reason or story behind the feature.