Successful programming in a non-technical world

Being a successful developer requires more than just great coding skill. It requires a higher-level understanding of the goals and underlying purpose of software in your organization and the ability to translate those goals into decisions when building software.

In most organizations ‘someone else’ figures out what the business needs and then directs programmers to build something fulfilling those needs. The best developers don’t completely rely on this, they instead make an effort understand the business needs rather than waiting around for instructions on how to meet them.

Developers who take the time to understand the business needs, often find themselves working on the most interesting & creative projects. They find it easier to speak with and explain concepts to non-technical personnel. They are called on more and more to present to management and their opinions are asked for before decisions are made. By making the effort, developers can show that they think about software beyond just the code, a highly sought-after skill.

Understanding the business goals means your code will either meet expectations or surpass them. It will never miss the point completely because of a misunderstanding down the line, you know what the goal is so you’ll make sure your code achieves that. It saves you back-and-forth and impresses management.

Can you see how your piece of the puzzle fits into the bigger picture? Even asking the question signals to higher-ups that you are a switched on member of the team.