Ok guys l haven’t been working as a software developer for long just a couple of years or so, but l have already leaned the greatest lesson ever for a software developer. This is just one of those things that they never really teach you at school but it should be very clear to you before you even think about being a software developer.
The lesson is the client is not your friend and frankly if the truth be told they are probably your greatest enemy and should be treated as such. l know most of you would be surprised at this remark so let me explain. l have been involved in a project for a big bank these past few months and to say it hasn’t been going that well because the project is behind schedule and they has been a lot of pressure from the senior guys at the bank. After we had completed development we handed it over to the client for testing and as usual they are always a few glitches here and there so we devised a way to communicate with the client when ever an issue came up so we had an issues log where the client would write there issues and hand it over to us and as soon as we had delt with the issues we would hand it over to the client for testing and if the issue was resolved it would be remove from the issues log. During that time l noticed one thing, some of the people especially on the client side were focusing there energies on trying to find a person to blame if the project fails instead of focusing on the successful implementation of the project and to be honest on the development side we were not all saints.
Maybe it was because of the ion fist approach used by the management that made the employees of the bank concentrate on finger pointing instead of doing their actual jobs but it was really bad for the project. Another shocking thing was the level of ignorance on the banks side man, those people did not know the first thing about their own processes and procedures, it was just an ‘l saw’. We had to end up telling them how things were suppose to work and l know this may sound sexist but it has to be said, l couldn’t help to wonder if those ladies got their jobs because of their brains or because of …………… Guys you know what l am talking about. Anyway we went through the pretests and the UATs and the client signed of the tests as being successful then it came time to deploy to the live system. The client gave us a server that was just, how can l put this delicately, the server was just something that belonged in a museum of computer science if they is one. That is when all when all hell break loose, it was finger pointing and more finger pointing, and those guys had a lot hateful things to say that these people where not my friends, they would smile politely and pretended to be good people but they where just evil to put in plane language and its really amazing how far a human being can go to try and cover their ignorance.
So guys when you are working on you next project a word of advice, all communication between you and your client should be in written form, even when you have one of those chats make sure they are always confirmed by email or some other written document and make sure you never delete or throw away any of them because you never know when you may need them.