This week we are talking tech and helping you communicate with your developers. It is almost impossible to run a business these days without some online component, whether that be an e-commerce store, a mobile app or a full fledged software application. If you are like me, you do your best to understand what your developer is saying but end up spending the next hour googling a bunch of terms you’ve never heard of.
We’ve written this article for you… this is what we learned while working with our amazing developer Chad.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to ‘dumb it down’ for you. We all know you’re brilliant, but tech talk just isn’t your thing, like geometry for the mathematically challenged. There is no need to save face here, be honest and ask them to explain everything you don’t understand in detail.
This will lead to better team communication, a better product, and a less stressed version of yourself. You will know what your developer is working on because you actually understand. The right developer for you is one who won’t judge your lack of knowledge in this area and will make you feel comfortable. This leads us into tip number two…
Have a list of features they can choose to work on. As an entrepreneur you are probably great at juggling a million tasks, and you probably love it. You may find that your developer is like this too. If you have your minimal viable product up and running and you’re working with a new developer to add a bunch of new features, ask them what they would prefer to work on.
They may work on one task for a while, run into a road block and move on to a new task. Perhaps they really dislike working on one feature, but love the other. Having a number of tasks they can choose from is perfect for this. Your developer can quickly switch to a new task and stay productive. Otherwise, they could be beating their heads against a wall for five hours on a task that if they came back with a fresh mind, could have been solved in one.
Ask your developer for input. Your developer may be an amazing business person or they may be the worst, but that does not negate the fact that they are great at what they do – developing. They may bring a new outlook or fresh eyes to an issue you have been working on. Ask them how they would solve a specific problem, or what features they would see as being pertinent in the future. Then go and do some customer discovery and find out what your users think about this potential solution.
Bringing your developer into the conversation about the product and your vision is crucial. You are a team, and at the end of the day, everyone on the team wants to be included and feel validated. Keep your developer on your team while building a better product… sounds like a win, win to me.
Happy developers mean happy founders, as well as beautifully designed and functioning products.
I hope that our learnings can help lead to your successes!
Allison Rhodes | Director of Creative Innovation at KahootsHQ
Allison is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Ryerson University, is a Masters of Digital Media candidate and one of the co-founders of KahootsHQ.com.