Four Qualities of the Independent Developer

Understanding the business is a must!

As developers, we tend to focus only on the ‘How’. However, I believe it is our duty as developers, to understand the Why as well. On all my development roles in the company, I always took the time to deep dive into the big picture, and understand the vision and the missions of the company as a whole. I examined the business needs, the products required, and the technological challenges. I took the time to think carefully about the products we are developing and the things that should be done differently to gain efficiency and better results.

Understand the big picture, and take the time to deep dive into the vision and the missions of the company

Challenging the value of an idea using coding

Once we know the ‘Why’ of a project or a task, we can validate its impact using development tools in really short time. In my experience, most of these validations can take less than a day, if deeply thought through. For example, it can be done by identifying the critical component, and focusing on its assessment and validation (usually technical challenges), or creating a mock to demonstrate an expected output (usually fits to usability challenges). Just to be clear, I’m not referring to an MVP (this will be the next step), but rather an experiment to prove the applicability of an idea and to assess resources needed in order to develop it.

Eliminating unknown technological variables

After validating the impact of an idea, it is time to make technological decisions. Independent developers, that are familiar with the business and the value of what they are trying to create, are able to make technological decisions that are far more intelligent.
Just like we experimented in the previous step of challenging the value of the idea, experiment-driven-development might be really useful here as well. we need to validate the technology, to make sure developing the idea will worth the time and resources.

  1. Extracting the metadata in real-time from the streamed events
  2. Aggregating the metadata in a month resolution
  3. Storing the aggregated data
Experiment efficiently and focus on learning. Less unknown variables the smarter decisions you make

Code Responsibly — Think Through

So close to coding now! after realizing the technological challenges and dealing with them, it is time to plan our development. We have all the information needed. It is time to think about our MVP. An MVP, Minimum Viable Product, is the most basic product that will give the most impact in the shortest time possible.

Deeply plan your MVP according to the lessons you learned before
  1. The ability to understand deeply the business needs, and what is going to be the impact of every task being done.
  2. Being able to conduct experiments in order to support the impact validation process. Thinking deeply on how to conduct such experiments fast and efficient.
  3. Mapping the technological complications, and dealing with them as soon as possible, before thinking on how to implement an MVP.
  4. Planning carefully the development, especially the MVP, based on the experiments conducted before.

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Guy Gadon

Guy Gadon

Writing on Software Engineering & Leadership. Enjoying writing code, reading and cycling.