There’s a big chain of retail stores with presence across many Latin American countries that has this protocol of having someone greeting you whenever you enter or exit the store.
Every time you enter the store, you can either smile back or just pass her by — I hope you do the former option, but this isn’t the point. What I am trying to say, is that, this simple gesture has a real reason behind and is, indeed, a business reason.
In Mexico, there is a common saying that, everyone owes them money and they are well known for their well-defined practices for getting paid. So, everyone owes them money and everyone hates their approach to collect their debt, so basically there’s a love/hate relationship between the company and its customers. So, by having someone greeting you with a big smile, they are lowering your defenses before you even enter the store.
As developers, we love to write tons of lines of codes. We stumbled upon a problem, analyze the situation and write an algorithm that potentially solves such given problem. The problem with this approach is that we never tend to see the situation from a business standpoint.
This is something I learnt a while ago. I thought I was taking our customers into consideration, but the truth is, I was more focused — and more excited — on how I was building the product. Am I using the best tools? Am I designing the best UI? Am I creating the best user experience?
Focusing on how our product impacts the business instead of just focusing on how we are great developers is more important for the product than being able to build the product fast with the best technology.
Once I understood that what I build must have an impact in an aspect of the business I am working on, I became a better developer, because now, I build products that do move the needle and this is something very valuable for our customers at Juvasoft.
So, fellow programmer, the next time you work on a product, think about how every feature moves the needle in terms of business value. Think about the person greeting you at the store and why that is happening in the first place. Focus on value added, not lines of code written.
You can thank me later.