Programmer, you’ve got only one job

As a programmer, you’ve only got one job: add value for your customers. And yet we are too often failing to do so. At times, we might not even know what “value” means to the customer. I, myself, plead guilty. To be exact, we are talking about the end customer. For example, if you are working for consulting company, it’s not your customer who we are talking about, but their customers instead. This is because if their customer finds the service valuable, your customer’s business will boom and as a result, so will yours.

Understanding what the customer problem is helps you to solve it


Company problem vs customer problem

Okay, why’s that? It’s very easy to say my company builds software or makes air conditioners or whatever. That’s because it’s easier to the World through our own eyes. But here’s the thing: if we really want to add value to our customer, we need to see things from their perspective. In other words, the value is subjective. To clarify what I mean by this:

  • No customer has Internet music problem, they want the experience and feel something music represents. Spotify and others do.
  • No customer has airplane problem, they want to travel and see stuff. Airlines do.
  • No customer never ever had a technology problem until we techies introduced some

See where I’m getting at?

The one who’s paying the bills is having another issue than their customer. And we rarely talk about what adds value to people who are using the solution. And this conflict may even make our solution useless to its user. Simply we just try to solve our own problem, not our customer’s. Without thinking if it’s the same problem at all.

Did you know you have a customer experience problem?

But isn’t that business people’s problem?

Yes, it is. And also a problem of software developers trying to add customer value.

If your solution don’t solve the customer’s problem, someone else’s does.

You’ll see how this ends up… right?

New customer innovations

On a more happy note, understanding what your customer goes through also opens up new possibilities to help people and get paid:

Customers of air condition company want to breathe, live and work comfortably. Could the company provide a machine to check air quality for moisture, temperature etc? Just to make sure their customer’s stay healthy and happy. I think they could.

Could an airline provide transportation to the airport? Personally, I would love this service.

Could software consultant find out how their customer could add more value? Sure they can.

Am I able to provide materials to help you? You are very welcome!


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