I originally posted this on the Udacity Peer Chat forum, but thought it was so relevant that I would release this on my blog: from the wife of an engineer, how to work with one.
- You need spec. This is engineering jargon for technical specifications – for software dev, that would be lists of existing and planned features, as well as requirements for resources such as what equipment / hardware / software components such as NginX, Apache, etc.
- You will need to be as precise as possible when discussing features and things needing to be done. This means addressing one concept in a block of text IF you are going to be using any pronoun. Use as few pronouns as possible (“it,” “they,” “that,” etc.)
- Attitude is key – if you end up frustrated, seek clarification and do not attempt to blame-game. Engineers can and will cut you down in a nanosecond.
- Providing a full roadmap will help engineers build current features for the future development AS PLANNED, and this will save a ton of money and time in the long-run.
- Tech development is a lot like remodeling versus building a residence house – remodeling (going back in to add features that were not planned-for) can cost ten times more – I write this from literal decades of experience!
- If your role is SALES – engineers are the worst clients and the best clients all at once – they focus on features, capacity to handle what the product is sold for, and are straight-shooters. They can detect puffery or lack of understanding from miles away. They are also extremely aware of ROI and can be time-conscious. To sell to an engineer, information and product knowledge – and awareness of market competitors’ products – are key.
- If you’re going to HIRE one – do not waste anyone’s time. Know your budget and be willing to give a number up front. Have a detailed list of expectations and be ready to discuss how performance will be measured.
- While it may seem like they’re not doing much – engineers’ job is to THINK more than they act. Do not be angry or surprised if a particular task seems to have stalled. Instead, ask what roadblocks have been found. Seek a better understanding.
Hopefully fellow coders, project managers, and business owners will benefit from my insight.
All the best into 2021,
– Amy Barnes
Paralegal, criminal defense
December 29, 2020###