The importance of language: company culture 

There’s language you use in a team that defines the project. The language that a company uses defines every project. Get it right and the company makes people happy. Get it wrong and your staff, and your customers, will start asking what’s wrong, and you might not be able to tell them.

Don’t be creative

Software development is just a matter of sitting in front of a keyboard and typing. Thinking isn’t software development. Designing isn’t software development. Talking isn’t software development. Even if it’s talking to a duck. Therefore, in order not to disturb those who are working, get away from your desk and go be creative somewhere else, you anti-social malcontent.

Or maybe lateral thinking and problem solving are exactly what you’re paying software developers to do. Just because you don’t understand the beauty of what’s being produced, doesn’t mean the beauty isn’t there. I understand developers need quiet time, but most developers (and any developer I’d want to work with) need to be social. Sometimes you talk through a problem, sometimes you debate alternatives, and sometimes you chat over a coffee to take your mind off the problem for long enough to be able to find the solution.

Just one little thing 

Software development is easy. Sure, there’s hard problems, but that’s what those other guys in Microsoft, and Google, and Apple do, not us. So those requirements we asked for an hour ago, should be done by now, right? After all, it was just one change to our database to support transgender employees.

OK, so I didn’t realise we didn’t have Mx as a title, but that’s just one other little change, right? No, I don’t know what a boolean is, or what that’s got to do with the gender column, but you can just add one more value, can’t you? I don’t know whether all the historical records need to be changed, I’m not a developer, can you just add support for transgender or not?

Just is a very dangerous word.

Right first time

We’re a company that our users can trust. We don’t make mistakes. We do it right, first time, every time. And anyone who doesn’t can go work for someone else. Losers.

Or, we’re a company that doesn’t take risks. We’re scared to fail and we don’t know how to recover from failures. If we make one mistake, our house of cards will fall and our users will leave. We don’t innovate, we can’t adapt. And if we fail, we’ll blame someone else. We’ll brag about our self importance to cover up our tiny exposure, and we’ll come down like a ton of bricks on anyone who questions us.

Don’t be that company. Sometimes things fail. Expect failures, expect things to go wrong. Figure out how to recover. A customer who has a complaint dealt with quickly is often a happier customer, and a better ambassador, than a customer who hasn’t, or can’t complain. Don’t make mistakes for the sake of it, but take risks, be interesting, and learn to right yourself when you capsize.

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