Public Service Announcement: Have a Translator
This pertains to more-or-less corporate development projects, where projects are invariably rooted in a real bottom line intention.
If your developers aren’t hip to the surrounding business lingo, or don’t have time (or inclination) to learn the bigger picture (like which kind of customers are going to be using it, the anticipated ROI, or what the customer support team really needs, etc.), make sure you’ve got a translator to bridge the gap.
On one side, a good translator will ensure that the business brains devising the project aren’t overlooking some great opportunities that tech could offer to solve the problem, and that they aren’t asking for what turns out to be a technical nightmare for only a minor gain.
On the tech side a translator will make sure the programmers don’t get carried away with the “cool factor” (tech for the sake of tech), and that instead what they’re churning out is a real fit for what’s intended.
The net result on both sides is that a good translator will keep a project on track, true to it’s original need, and ensure that the technology being employed is a good fit for the problem at hand.
Next: So What Do You Do?
This is Programmer for Hire, a series of essays and explorations on the art of being a great programmer doing on-demand custom software development.