As your business grows and evolves, you will likely need to enhance, transform or replace your existing software, and there is a secret to fit, high-quality software and applications and finding a fantastic software development company. If you are like many of the leaders responsible for procuring the right software consultancy and software project management, you may baulk at the task, as it is fraught with risk, not least to your brand. Horror stories of trashed systems, overruns and overspend or a combination, mostly as a result of poor software project management, emanate from the biggest names in the industry for work done in sectors as critical as healthcare and government. As there are myriad considerations, it is often useful to focus on the aptitudes, attitudes and motivations of the people to whom you would entrust such an important deliverable as Fit Software – software that is fit for purpose, actually solves existing and anticipated problems and delivers high value.
The attributes of good software and the code that goes into it, have been written about ad infinitum, not least in the brilliant and incisive article by Zachary Goldberg, which even questions what is meant by ‘good code’. Software has a life cycle, rules, algorithms and systems which help. However, ‘fit software’, i.e. software that will encompass the core attributes of well written programs but most importantly, that is fit for your company, fit for your processes and people and therefore supremely fit for purpose, has a crucial dependency. This dependency and a primary dimension to good code are, of course, the software engineers, developers, programmers and coders (terms hereafter used interchangeably!), and this is the primary secret to getting fit, high-quality software and build a great software development company.
The best software engineers are at heart, artists who entered into their craft with a desire to do and create great things and transform the world around them. They are the ultimate dreamers and hopers. Traditional stereotypes suggest purely nerdy types, tethered to reality and constrained by parameters and algorithms, being detailed oriented and concerned with algorithms. Like all stereotypes, some of that is true, but in fact, software engineers are also people that need to have and hold a big picture idea in their heads and hearts in order to fully extend and apply the detail they treasure. They are steady and systematic, even seeming to slow their heart rate much like a sharpshooter does before taking aim, as they painstakingly debug code in it often in high pressure, fast paced environments.
The right software consultancy will know that great software developers are creators of reality through their code and must care and understand your business purpose, so they can take a story, decompose then rebuild it to create stories of greater power and myriad applications.
Like artists, they make something out of nothing, like linguists, they manipulate language, patterns and ideas through the use of engineering practices, tools and structures and integration with other technologies, filtering a spectrum of possibilities through the prism of the technical limitations to create fit software.
A factor that keeps them connected to their first love is solving big problems as elegantly as possible. Linear or non-linear approaches matter far less than fit and capability or structured software project management. Their ability to deliver both for their clients and users is their greatest driver. Many of the best coders would work for free, so relentless and fierce are they in the pursuit of the possibilities they create, and the right software consultancy harnesses this passion. Like an author, they know the building blocks and characters but are often surprised by what the characters flowing from their fingertips eventually choose to do and they never know exactly how the story will end, except that it must support, enable and integrate as fully as possible with the story of their clients and if possible elevate it. This is at the heart of good coders and the right software consultancy knows and understand that this is the secret of fit, high quality software and applications.
In many a software development company, programmers cannot program as they would like to, to effect the explosion of tiny ideas into planetary brilliance because this instinct and freedom are often lost in the frenzy of projects. They can similarly be constrained by the vision of business case owners or just time, whilst trying to write fit software.
Nevertheless, to get fit software, look for the software development company with experienced programmers who still have dreams in their eyes, who listen well and believe, whatever they have achieved, that there are better ideas than they have been able to implement, who still believe that their best art, their best code, is still ahead of them. Look for the ones who want to dive into what your business is and who will walk with you on your journey to determine what your business needs. Choose the ones who will work with you to distil high-quality requirements with business, technical and people integration facets. Yes, they’ll be obsessed with performance and be concerned with efficacy and coverage and logic but as storytellers ultimately, this is because they want to hit you between the eyes with the beauty, sleekness and seamlessness of their application.
Adhering to methodologies that prioritise teamwork, and enable collaboration, the finest programmers have beautiful minds that synthesise the simplest solutions and execute them elegantly. Their world view allows them to be less judgmental and more patient and optimistic – optimism deriving from readiness to try new things to get a solution. It comes from inside, the willingness to feel the pain and code anyway, to be aware the picture may not be complete but create anyway, the special ability to conceive at the same time, multiple ways to see and solve a problem and create concepts to prove it. These are the people you will want building the fit software that your business needs to scale, transform and continue your story into the future, and we ensure they are served and enabled by strong software project management, and a software development company that has the experience working with the best.