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The Industry of Software Development

I hear a lot about people’s business. Leaders of e-commerce, manufacturing, media, finance, and healthcare all talk about the same issues. They all need help executing the business vision. The problems around execution focus on two areas:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Technology

Business leaders are usually experts in their vertical domain. Normally, they aren’t great at making technology decisions. They rely on word-of-mouth, popularity, or budget-only information to make decisions. These can lead to poor choices might result in failure to execute the business vision.

Business leaders need to consider software development as it’s own industry. It has it’s own language, practices, and culture. It requires staff with varying skill sets to work together to build a solution. When the wheels of industry are working well, a high quality business vision will be delivered on-time and on-budget.

The software development industry works with any business to deliver products. It’s helpful, but not necessary for all developers have a particular industry experience. Software development, by it’s nature, is a generic skill. There is a wide variation of developers’ skillfulness. But most developers are general craftspeople.

There are times a specialist is needed. Likely, you will never need a UX professional on full-time staff. The need is usually best to be contracted out. UX work is normally tactical requiring only a few months of work. On the other hand, you may need a full-time graphic designer if you are generating branding content for digital or print publication.

I tell business owners to do what they do best, run their business. It’s usually best to outsource your technology development unless you’re in the business of developing software.

Wm. Barrett Simms
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