Photo of a programmer typing up some code

7 Things Your Software Programmer Secretly Wants You to Know

7 Aug 2017 by Amanda Best

This article originally appeared on Aug. 23, 2016, and has been revised to bring our readers the most up-to-date technology information.

At times, there may be some disconnect between marketing and IT, but both departments generally want to accomplish the same thing: business growth through cost effective, agile solutions, with more efficient and secure processes.

How can you develop a mutual relationship with programmers and developers to achieve these goals? Well, for starters, you can better understand the roles that they play within your business.

1.    They’re not equipped to fix your printer.

While there’s a high chance they can, it’s not actually in their job description. You see, when you call to tell them your HP LaserJet is out of ink, or about the ghost who is responsible for a perpetual paper jam, they are able to help you, but they likely have other revenue-impacting objectives to accomplish. It’s important to recognize who at your organization, or with your contracted service provider, is dedicated to general IT help — versus who is in charge of developing software, websites and applications.

2.    They can’t make your app successful.

They can build you a phenomenal application, but their skill level does not always determine the success of your technology. Supply and demand will primarily impact whether your product or platform is of value to your intended clientele. You will need to do a serious amount of due diligence prior to development. Once you have story-boarded and are ready to work with your developer, you would do well to adopt a “pretotype” approach to increase the likelihood of engagement. To learn more about this, listen to our podcast with BlueMetal, an Insight company, and Microsoft’s 2016 Internet of Things Partner of the Year.

3.    Building a website does not equal leads.

Creating a website is one of the first steps you should take when you’re ready to market your business, but the sheer existence of a published website does not mean the floodgates will open with new clients. Major search engines, like Google, are always implementing new criteria for how they rank web searches. Your developer can help ensure your website is mobile-friendly and “crawlable,” but they cannot guarantee your website will appear in the top search results.

4.    They aren’t your password genie.

I won’t go long into this one. Please incorporate a secure password log into your workflow. A password-protected Microsoft Word document will do (just don’t forget that password), or a highly rated, password-keeping application or solution. To best illustrate this point and other valuable myths, two directors of IT sound off in this video.

IT Peer-2-Peer

Corporate IT myths and responses from those who believe them.

5. Not every IT programmer is a good programmer.

As shown in Figure 1, the number of application software developers employed in the United States is expected to increase from 520,800 in 2010 to 664,500 in 2020 — and the number of systems software developers is expected to increase from 392,300 in 2010 to 519,400 in 2020. But, while you may interview someone whose resume says they can code or your cousin may have built a website for their online business in a few hours, not everyone has what it takes to craft a quality solution. A poor programming job can be frustrating for another developer to pick up, especially when there is poor documentation.

Statista: Number of software developers employees in the United States in 2010 to 2020 (in 1,000)
Figure 1

6. Facebook, Google and Microsoft didn’t happen overnight.

"Could we build [something that mimics Excel functionality] as an online product in a few months’ time?" I stumbled upon this hot topic on a software programmer humor forum. While programmers or developers may solve complex problems with automation, we often treat them like wizards with a magic wand.

It’s important that we involve developers in high-level thought processes when considering new technology. There may be existing technology we can leverage, or we may not understand the financial implication behind what we are asking.

7. Understand the IT programmer job description.

Many of the problems with requests we submit relate to confusion about what exactly programmers do, so we’ve taken the time to highlight the main elements in a programmer job description:

  • The title has been used to refer to a software developer, web developer, mobile applications developer, embedded firmware developer, software engineer, computer scientist or software analyst.
  • The term “programmer,” can be considered an oversimplification in title, which has sparked much debate between those who would prefer to be recognized more specifically as analysts, developers or computer scientists.
  • Based on the ambiguity of the term, their role could include:
    • Testing and debugging software
    • Application or system programming
    • Developing software that can be web-based
    • Source code editing
  • Programmers know the necessary languages used for writing and fixing software. They can make something that might seem difficult and foreign to most of us look very easy.

Cheers to these hardworking professionals. According to Job Tips for Geeks, “To those who solve the most complex technical problems in creative and elegant ways, yet are forced to distill their career for most people down to ‘I work with computers.’” Thank you, for all you do.

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