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The Importance of Technical Knowledge of Your Product

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dknise

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Hola, I know I haven't been posting much because I have been REALLY busy, but I have a story about why it is important to know your product, specifically when it deals in the app / coding environment.

In addition to my larger project, I took on small app as a third partner with one of my friends and his designer to be the coder. I needed to do an HTML5 hybrid app to get a working understand of the core concepts of the platform for my larger project. Mission accomplished.

The app has quickly grown uncontrollably, there is A LOT of development work on it now which I am committed to because I said I would and I always follow through.

Between the other two people on the project, there is a total disconnect on development... The designer insisted on doing the HTML and CSS himself, although he does not know Javascript. In turn, the front end UI code I received was visually stunning but a bit of a nightmare to work with, but that's not the problem.

The problem with the designer, is he believes that he can code a front end visual response in 5 minutes and that the resulting action will take just as long in the backend. He doesn't understand the database requirements (tables, procedures, data relations), the web requirements (php scripts for access to the database), and the additional Javascript involved in each one of these little guys he creates. There also seems to be a complete LOGICAL disconnect in functionality. Take for example we have an interface to respond to an action. Although there are three responses, he believes there should only be two inputs. Somehow as the programmer, I'm supposed to make 2 buttons do 3 different things.

In addition to this, you'd think that getting the core functionality coded is the top priority right? WRONG. I'm 2/3rds out voted in that department. My Skype is filled with visual rendering questions because they want control over every, single, freaking, pixel, on the screen. They're convinced they don't have control because it's a hybrid and not native, although I am certain I would blow my brains out attempting to render a custom UI through an OpenGL surface with many varying screen resolutions.

As for the other partner, I would say he is like a lot of the poeple on this forum. Ya, I'm probably pointing at you. His coding knowledge is absolutely non-existent, and he probably couldn't write a hello, world! app in HTML (for those that don't get it you pretty much just have to save a text file with "Hello World" written in it with the extension .html and open it in a browser). Soooo... why is it that I'm constantly being bombarded with questions about how I'm doing my job wrong? I have no, idea.

The continual issue is native vs hybrid vs web. The core understanding of what these are is non-existent with my partners. Yesterday I was asked a question about what I was using to wrap the HTML, was I using PhoneGap or jQuery Mobile? My response was that I have native WebView wrapper apps already pre-written that I am using, and binding native functionality in with the UI's Javascript. Wrong answer, to him at least. I asked him to explain what either of those were (I know what they are, I just wanted to see if he did), and he said the hint came from a Computer Science major in college. I have experience building distributed enterprise systems dealing with security over 800 servers, have a fat stack of successful apps I have contributed to, and have a graphics manipulation advertising company that uses bleeding edge tech (half of which I have to invent) on my big project, and he takes the guy who's in C Programming 101's advice.

:smx8:

Basically, he has no idea what he is talking about. My gut instinct at the moment is flight. If these two truly believe they know how to build it, then I'm in full favor of letting them haha.



The lesson I hope the forum takes away, is this communication between developers and the business. If you don't know your product... or anything about it... it's likely you'll respond in the same ways as my partners. I am not JUST a dev, I am primarily a businessman who is extremely talented in the technical department. If you bring me on because of my skills and expertise, trust my skills and expertise. Being told how to do my part by someone who knows literally nothing about it, is not just insulting, but infuriating. Either trust their work or don't work with them.
 

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Milkanic

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Imagine if you tried to build a house this way.

This is why you do a functional designs (blueprints) before writing any code. All of this should have been detailed out, wire framed, and signed off on before any actual worked started.
 

dknise

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Imagine if you tried to build a house this way.

This is why you do a functional designs (blueprints) before writing any code. All of this should have been detailed out, wire framed, and signed off on before any actual worked started.

Ex-freaking-actly.

Feature creep, waz that?
Dev churn, waz that?
Fill out my design docs for finalization, why just call me on skype?
Change core functionality, whys it so hard, all I had to do was add this CSS?
 

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