I was born a developer. I have always loved development. The more I did it, the more I liked it. The only times I didn’t like it was when other extraneous stuff got in the way. Stuff like requirements and users and testing and security. Those kinds of things tend to take the joy out of programming. I wish I could skip them and just bust out something wicked-cool.
Of course, it didn’t take long to realize that without those things, the programming just wasn’t going to be successful. An app that doesn’t meet requirements or satisfy users or is lacking security, is going to be half-baked. It might even be considered an outright failure. Those un-fun things need to be in there and they need to be right. Deep down inside, I don’t want to do them, but I know I must.
Me? Dance? You must be kidding.
I don’t know about you, but I hate dancing. It is like getting my teeth scraped. Years ago, when I would go out looking for a date, I would periodically be asked to dance. I found, if a girl asked me to dance and I declined, the girl would move-on. No date for me. If I would begrudgingly agree to dance and only put forth a half-effort, then the girl would be disappointed and move-on. Date ends. If I could muster the energy and creative power to attempt to dance, and I showed some real effort, then things would progress. Yay! So, even though I hated to dance, the ladies liked it, and was interested in dating them. So, if I wanted a date, I had to dance (and behave as if it was important to me). If I did so, the date would progress, if not, then no progress.
Gathering requirements is the dancing part of the date and programming is the cool stuff that goes after it. You may have agreed to wear a suit and go to the wedding because of the free bar, but if you don’t do the chicken dance and celebrate good times, (come on!), then the boss is going to feel short-changed and feeling cold towards you. A half effort will only produce a minimal success or may backfire and land you sleeping on the couch (or out of a job). So take it seriously and do your best. If your best won’t be good enough, then do better than your best. Raise your bar.
Ironically, there are actually people who like to dance, and some of them are actually men?! To continue my metaphor, these people are called Business Analysts. Now, you might not have one of these people at your disposal, but you can still learn from them. You may recall how Napoleon Dynamite studied an expert’s techniques and mimicked them very well. You too will want to start by mimicking the techniques of successful BA and not just make up your own full-body-dry-heave technique. Study and practice their moves. Commit to doing it well. Once you have the sweet moves of a really good business analyst down, you can turn heads and be the hero of your software development projects. Your projects will be the envy of everyone.
May your moves be smooth and your dates work out well.