A subtle art of developing useless software – Hacker Noon

Have you ever wondered about all those apps on AppStore and Google Play store, all the time people gave into making each one of them and still most of us don’t use more than 5 to 10 most important apps (okay, I’m not counting all those Voodoo studio games)?

Image result for googlestore apps

In March 2018 Google has had more than 3,6 million apps on their store alone. But why people keep creating all those apps when we usually use just top apps?

First and foremost every app stands on four pillars of creation.

The very first one is a pillar of birth known as an idea. It is the first point of every new product. “Hey, I have a very nice new idea”, “Hey I know how to solve that problem”.

The second one is a pillar of knowledge. It is directly linked to the human behind the code. His or her knowledge and ability to efficiently overcome any error and make an app as good as possible from a technical perspective.

The third one is a pillar of determination. How persistent are people involved in a project? Will they take it to the end? And last but not least is a sacred pillar of business value and market need. Every one of us has some ideas, but most of us don’t have the determination to make our ideas come true. And even when people have those two things some of them lack critical knowledge to make it happen (I value determination more than knowledge).

I believe that if we are to blame something because we are constantly developing useless software all guilt falls down on developers not being able to recognize right market needs and right business model. But why developers fail here so much? The answer is easy: Knowledge of most developers is too vertical.

But almost every one of them lacks the fourth pillar. It is the pillar of ability. This fourth and last pillar is not linked with the ability to code and design the solution but rather is related to the ability to take the product out on the market and do all “business” stuff the right way. I believe that if we are to blame something because we are constantly developing useless software all guilt falls down on developers not being able to recognize the right market needs and the right business model. But why do developers fail here so much?

The answer is easy: Knowledge of most developers is too vertical. They are just developing their tech skills. “But dude I write code you know, why would I care about anything else?”. Personally, I’m in love with the fourth pillar, maybe as much as the development process itself but I’m among the rare ones. Our true job is to identify needs and problems and to give the right solution, not just to “code”.

I prefer to draw a line between coding and software development. Coding is all about the code. You get the problem, you code the solution. While software development for me represents the process of solving the right issue with the right software solution from business to the technical side.

Ask, think, prototype. Iterate through that process!

But this does not apply one for B2C but for B2B software also. Ask your user, client what bothers them! Don’t let them tell you what they want, identify what they truly need. Ask, think, prototype. Iterate through that process! Ask people what do they think about every specific element of your product. Only then will you understand the true need. Otherwise, you will always stay the master of the subtle art of developing well-engineered but useless software.

To make the end of this article spicy I will wrap it up with an Elon Musk quote “I could either watch it happen, or be a part of it.”. The software industry is much more than plane coding. It is a journey that goes from an idea all the way through the plane code editor and ends up in raging waters of the market.

In order to survive and prevail in this journey, we must be ready to rock through every aspect of it. And in order to be part of it, we must develop all our skills, soft and technical.

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