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When Will It Be Done? How Bad Questions Give You Bad Software (And What To Ask Instead)

by Collin Flynn

If you're a stakeholder, you've probably asked some version of this question: How much will it cost and when will it be done?

Businesses plan budgets and need to time deliveries -- is a software project any different?

But like asking "What is north of the North Pole?" , it shows misunderstanding. As a developer, I see this costly mistake repeated routinely. Your software is not a vehicle to transport your product. It is your product with additional hidden potential. And creating useful products is a process of discovery and adaptation. Misapplying these questions to a software project will prevent you from capitalizing on those discoveries while you waste time on first-draft features. Perhaps worse, deadline fixation can incentivize toxic internal politics instead of unity around a mission.

Regardless, everyone has a budget. What should a stakeholder ask for if not a timeline and cost? In this session you'll see how asking the right questions can deliver better software, grow your business, and build a stronger company culture.

All levels

Collin Flynn

Collin is a software developer with Livefront


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