Developers Must Learn To Communicate

Software is big business, and mobile apps offer new ways to connect with your customers to strengthen your brand. But sometimes the software development process seems much more difficult than it should be. In fact, it is very common for clients to say they aren’t happy when the project is done.

Obstacles to explain your vision

The situation is not helped by the fact that it can sometimes be very difficult to talk to developers about software. Unless you have a background in programming, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of technical mumbo-jumbo. Developers don’t do this intentionally; they just have a very different perspective on software development than their customers. They use different terminology to talk about features of an application and often want to discuss the invisible parts of the app that you haven’t even thought about.

The jargon creates a barrier that leads to misunderstandings. The features may work differently than expected or do something completely different. The UI may not fit the workflow you had in mind, or the app may be flawed in other serious ways. In the end, you just didn’t get what you wanted.

Make sure your vision is clearly communicated.

The answer is to learn to speak the same language as your developer. While you don’t need to learn any code, there are some simple terms you can use that will make your points a lot easier to understand. Understanding the process they will use to organise your project will give you realistic timeline expectations and a mechanism for making course corrections. Together, these ideas will help you build a healthy, collaborative relationship with your developer. This will help you avoid problems, improve the quality of the final product, and make both of you happier when the project is done.

Agile development methodology

The first thing to be aware of is that most developers will use Agile methodology to organise the project. This approach allows programmers to get feedback from the customer throughout the development process. Because the code is easier to refactor before the entire programme is complete, feedback during the process reduces the risk of delays and ensures that the final product stays in line with your vision. In the past, developers would request a full list of specs before writing the first line of code, making changes nearly impossible.

The Agile method divides the project into a number of smaller iterations, or sprints. The developer will work on a few features during the sprint, then they’ll show you some working code, and you can tell them if it’s what you expected. Each sprint may only take a few weeks, although the entire project can take several months in total.

Create user stories to explain your vision.

When you communicate your vision to the developer, they listen for discrete features, functions, and structure that fit into each sprint. In other words, they try to identify “user stories,” which are simple descriptions of how a user accesses the software to perform a particular function. The basic structure of a “user story” is: As a [user], I need a [function] to perform [a task].

Here’s an example:

As a [blog writer], I need an [upload button] so that I can [upload an image to the blog].

This story can be broken down into smaller steps for the developer to write code for:

1: While I’m writing a page of content, I want to embed an image.

2: I click on a button labelled “Insert Image.” 3.

A file selector dialogue box will appear. Four

: I click the file selector and choose an image from my hard drive. 5.

The app uploads an image and saves it in the media folder. Six

: The app inserts the code for the image into the blog post.

7: The image is displayed in the editor.

8: I’m still working on the post.

Explaining your vision using this structure and vocabulary not only helps your developer understand what you want, but also gives you a better sense of what to expect as a final product. Don’t worry about the low-level details (steps 5-7) because the developer will be able to fill these in with you.

The developer will also be thinking of what to do if something goes wrong. What if the file cannot be uploaded because of a poor internet connection? What if the file is too heavy? Should the image be scaled down or cropped?

By addressing these points ahead of time, it becomes much easier to programme the feature in a way that works from the start and has fewer bugs/glitches. During the development process, both of you will be able to see how things are going.

Dealing with schedules

If we all had infinite deadlines, every new app would be perfect when it was completed. Sure, humanity may have died out before it was released, but it would be great software!

In reality, you have to set some deadlines. And that means prioritising the features that go into the software. Your developer should now have an idea of how long it will take to develop each feature. These are only estimates, but they are probably fairly accurate.

One of the main goals of the “sprint” concept is to break down the total project time into more manageable chunks, with an exact goal for each. The developer plans how much of the application can be completed within a single sprint. Sometimes tasks are completed faster than expected, while others take longer. The sprints can then be adjusted accordingly to keep the project on track overall. Most importantly, the code should be in a working state at the end of each sprint. It must be possible to demonstrate real running code; otherwise, you won’t be able to provide feedback!

Sometimes it is not possible to fit all the features into the app before the release deadline. You are faced with a difficult decision-what do you want to keep and what should be removed or postponed until a future version? The developer will give you estimates for each time, but it’s up to you to prioritise them.


Working well with developers is easy if you’re willing to take a few steps into their world. Preparation with an understanding of a few key terms and their overall process will help you get a better product that fits your vision.


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“Computers have no idea what goes on outside of them except what humans tell them.”