It’s kind of a strange situation in software development that we’ve got so many smart people working on developing software for smart customers, and yet a mere fraction (about a third) of the projects actually get completed on time, on budget, or with functionality intended by the customers. You’d think that with so much intelligence, we’d have moved past the basic problems of communication, but I don’t see that much progress.
With my background in engineering, I know that engineers and computer scientists usually don’t enter the field with an intention of emerging with better communication skills. We enter these fields because we are good at math and science, and we want to get a good job and make reasonable money, and that’s really what we’re promised in university or college. What the colleges don’t stress enough is that once the students in engineering or comp sci graduate, then the science part takes a back seat to the communication part – that’s where you have to actually talk to customers and software “users” to get the requirements for what they want in a piece of software. Yet, that’s the beginning of the problems – those who are geeks and great at programming software are not typically communication majors as well. They are good at working with logic, programming languages, and building software – but not so good at talking and really communicating with those who are buying and will use the products. Years ago, people started talking about project “teams” to bridge the gap between customers and software developers – and while it has helped – there are still two sides to the process of building software, with a gap in technology and language between them. Or perhaps I should say a crevasse!
What do you think?
———–COPYRIGHT 2007 Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED————————