Keep Your Development Customer-Focused

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Man, why’s the office computer guy or gal such a jerk? A common refrain, right? It’s such a well known trope, Jimmy Fallon wrote a series of SNL skits about it. If you work in software development, you’re probably sick of hearing it. I am. But not as sick as I am of it ringing true.

Arrogance and unkindness were long de rigeur in an industry and culture of fake-it-’til-you-make-it and trying to seem like the smartest person in the room. Thankfully, at long last, that is starting to change. And that’s great not just for our industry, but for what our industry builds. Compassion and kindness don’t just build better people, they build better products.

On one level or another, we all build software for humans (unless you find yourself inside a Terminator movie, then probably just keep your head down and do your best not to anger Skynet). A funny thing about humans is that we appreciate kindness and we can become loyal to the people we meet who are kind. Kind software products win. The type of products that are easy to use and anticipate a person’s needs are the ones that people keep coming back to. Apple won’t be dethroned by a superior technology, but I bet they’ll someday be defeated by a superior user experience.

Can you imagine how far along our industry would be if we’d been thinking about people all along? Software that builds relationships and loyalty in the same way an agency like Centresource builds relationships and loyalty with our clients is a way more exciting future than software that ticks off functional requirements. Try it. We are.

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