Learn From Software Developers


(By Buzz Knight) Radio folks are a rare breed as are software developers. Both cut from unique cloths. No matter what category of leadership you fill in the audio business, consider improving yourself by examining successful traits of software developers.

Here are some key thoughts for consideration regarding important traits that software developers possess.

1) Passion for learning:Software developers embrace a passion for learning as they attempt to differentiate their companies from the competitive landscape. Getting code running is one thing but masterfully building technology that can scale is a whole different thing. A continual passion for learning is part of this process. Every day is like school for developers as they always seek continuous improvement.

2) Collaboration and Teamwork: Software development demands collaboration and teamwork and the success of any project is built on the team foundation. Development teams know how to be mindful of each team members input and a high bar for success. These teams feed off of each other for the betterment of the project.

3) Managing under pressure: Software development consistently is about bugs and fixes and a cool demeanor is vital to meeting the necessary deadlines. They often seem to thrive in the environment of fast paced pressure. When you are trying to fix something with massive implications to the larger organization it is critical to not crack under that pressure and development teams understand this.

4) A Keen eye on the user experience: Software development teams have a critical understanding and deep passion for a brilliant user experience. When thinking user first they are more likely to find a simple, easy solution to a problem than many other collaborative teams. Developers are built with seeking a beautiful interface with users and always look forward to maximizing the experience.

5) An appreciation of specific and accurate timelines: This is vital to the reliability of a deliverable and project completion. One tactic to increase the output of the workflow is the concept of “the design sprint” which is a multi-day process for solving problems and testing new ideas. This was invented by a Google developer and ultimately has been refined for specific use cases to deliver a project to completion. Software developers have an appreciation for staying on a road map.

6) Problem Solving: For developers creating something from scratch is the epitome of problem solving. Generally,  the words “this can’t be done” are not uttered from software developers. Software developers are wired to see the bigger picture implications of problem solving and won’t just bemoan a problem without a solution.

7) Passion: Developers possess an extreme desire to build, problem solve and overcome obstacles to success. It is their driving emotion that allows them to crack so many codes successfully(crack codes literally and figuratively!)

8) Iteration: In a constantly changing world sometimes building the perfect beast isn’t prudent based on shifting trends and needs. Sometimes budget requires a slower roll-out and iteration is the most plausible path to market. Iterating is key to software developers and their work-flow process.

9) An egoless approach to criticism: Sometimes when something is built it isn’t perfect the first time and feedback from the key stakeholders is necessary. The great developers take the feedback in stride and as a useful tool for improvement.

10) Strong Listening Skills: The great software developers listen attentively to feedback and use it to improve and mobilize a product to market.

While I’m not suggesting that developers are a perfect breed because there isn’t such a thing, their core strengths are worthy of examining to see what others can emulate.

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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