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This here. Having someone who doesn't have to social skills of a house plant to talk to the customers, and then have the neckbeards in the back room code it up, is not the way to go, and nowadays I refuse to work with partners who work like this (or with subcontractors who want to force this workflow on me, and not limited to software dev either - I no longer work with e.g. building contractors who work like this either). And yes, I understand the point of specialization and division of labor, and yes in the past I too would have much preferred to just be the guy being handed perfect specs and never having to talk to anyone from the outside, and then when things go wrong there is always 'the spec' to blame. But it just doesn't work that way. In the past, being a 'business programmer' was called being an 'analyst-programmer'. I never really understood that, until I got to a point where I realized that the actual 'programming' (i.e., 'coding') is the easy part; it's the 'analysis' of the problem (well, and the formulation of a solution to the problem that comes out of that analysis) is the key to delivering value. But still, the relationship between the problem understanding, the solution and the implementation of that solution is so close that you just cannot completely separate them.

I interviewed a bunch of firms for building a website last year; nothing particularly fancy. Several of them (at least the big firms) send in a guy who would always start off explaining their 'process' (all fancy sounding), that process essentially being 'you tell me what your problem is, then we will together design a solution, and then I'll hand you off to our project manager back at the office who will just have the programmers implement it; you'll never even have to see these guys face to face!'. Uh sure, probably to 95% of your customers, naive and gullible because of lack of experience, that sounds great and like it's an advantage, but no way I'm going to get caught with my pants down 6 months from now because there was some aspect we didn't cover in the 'design' but the programmers coded it up like that anyway because hey it say so in the spec, right?




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