Attention Developers: The Problem Isn’t Technical

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How many times have we heard it? Our bosses, colleagues, everyone, it seems, reminds us time and time again that we’re actually customer service professionals, as well as developers. Seems we’d get it, right?

The subject may have been flogged to death, but I’m going to bring it up one more time. Why? Two reasons: first, because we all need the reminder from time to time. And second, because I need the reminder on a daily basis.

It’s easy to believe as developers that the focus of our jobs ought to be on writing applications and reading through spec documents. It’s not. All of us are customer-focused, and customer facing. Even those of us who develop internal applications or who develop for client services teams (like I do), we have customers: the people who commission the things we build.

With that in mind, there are a few things that we (I) should remember when dealing with customers:

These tips are not just for the world, but for me too. I need to remember every day that I’m first and foremost a customer service professional. The client is my client, and I work for them.

Brandon Savage is the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and Practical Design Patterns in PHP

Posted on 12/14/2008 at 2:35 pm
Categories: Business Management
Tags: ,

Mishkin Berteig (@mberteig) wrote at 3/26/2009 12:13 am:

Your second bullet starts “Our customers trust us”.

—RANT—
What planet are you from?! Our customers are terrified that we’re going to deliver crap, that we’re going to over-charge for it, and that it’s going to be so late and so wrong as to be useless! Our customers hate the fact that they depend on us! Our customers think we’re lazy, that we need to be rigidly contracted, and that only threats (sometimes implied, sometimes outright) will get us to do something that is even close to what they want!
—RANT OFF—

Okay. I admit that it isn’t _always_ that bad. But as a consultant this is what I see over and over and over. Big companies or small, product development or IT, regardless of industry. I like the sentiment, but if that is truly your experience of software development, then you are an extremely lucky person!

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