The Emotional Journey of Developing Software

Developing Software can be like Riding a Rollercoaster

As our di­a­gram be­low shows, at the be­gin­ning of a new pro­ject spir­its are rel­a­tively high and every­one, par­tic­u­larly the Product Owner, is ex­cited. However, de­spite the va­ri­ety of par­ties in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of a soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion, it is of­ten the Product Owner who is the first to to fall into a trough. The rea­son this tends to hap­pen is be­cause their nat­ural ten­dency to be overly op­ti­mistic about their idea is of­ten com­bined with in­ex­pe­ri­ence in soft­ware de­vel­op­ment. This re­sults in a need for de­vel­op­ers to man­age client ex­pec­ta­tions about how much work is in­volved from their side of the fence when soft­ware de­vel­op­ment kicks off. Contrary to pop­u­lar be­lief, soft­ware is­n’t just de­vel­oped by the soft­ware en­gi­neers in a dark room. At WorkingMouse it’s a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach and we go on this jour­ney to­gether.


Once the ex­pec­ta­tions are laid down about col­lab­o­ra­tion, it be­comes a grad­ual up­hill climb for the Product Owner as they move through a Vision meet­ing and Brief stage. These stages are where an ini­tial knowl­edge trans­fer is con­ducted and a com­mon un­der­stand­ing of the high level re­quire­ments of their pro­ject can be reached.

Scoping and Development

During the next phase, called Scoping, the team at WorkingMouse start to truly un­pack the pro­ject so that by the end, the re­quire­ments for the first de­liv­er­able of the pro­ject have been un­cov­ered. During the Vision, Brief and Scoping stages the Product Owner can start to vi­su­alise their first MVP and be­come su­per ex­cited for de­vel­op­ment to kick off. However, the Development stage of the pro­ject is where a Product Owner’s emo­tions may take a sharp dive, par­tic­u­larly as it be­comes harder to see the end vi­sion when all the work is be­hind the scenes de­vel­op­ment work that can’t be vi­su­alised yet.

It is to­tally nor­mal to have some doubts

As a Product Owner you are cham­pi­oning your idea from the get go. Why else would you be pre­pared to in­vest money into the pro­ject. It is nor­mal to go through pe­ri­ods of time as de­vel­op­ment pro­gresses, where you lack mo­ti­va­tion or are rid­dled with self-doubt. The team at WorkingMouse un­der­stands the roller­coaster of soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and will help you un­der­stand how all the small pieces of work will come to­gether to form your awe­some new soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion.

Never lose sight of the end goal/ vi­sion

One of the biggest chal­lenges in soft­ware de­vel­op­ment is Scope Creep. Anyone who has been a part of a de­vel­op­ment pro­ject be­fore will be aware of this con­cept. There is a great ar­ti­cle specif­i­cally dis­cussing Scope Creep on the WorkingMouse blog. Having a clear fo­cus on what needs to be achieved in or­der to call the pro­ject a suc­cess is very im­por­tant. It can be very tempt­ing to a Product Owner to try and cram as much func­tion­al­ity as pos­si­ble early on but just re­mem­ber the more you add in the longer it will take to see the fi­nal prod­uct.

Working it­er­a­tively means small wins con­sis­tently

Carrying on from the pre­vi­ous point, when WorkingMouse de­vel­ops our Partner’s soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions they do so in an learn-mea­sure-test cy­cle that al­lows them to de­liver small chunks of func­tion­al­ity reg­u­larly rather than wait­ing till the end of the pro­ject and pre­sent­ing the en­tire plat­form as one. This helps keep the Partner in­volved and en­sures there is a bet­ter chance of prod­uct mar­ket fit at the end.

There is no need to rein­vent the wheel when it comes to tech­nol­ogy
The real value of the Codebots tech­nol­ogy that WorkingMouse uses to build out our Partner’s soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions is­n’t just how fast it can write code, but how it can reuse the code that it’s pre­vi­ously worked on. By lever­ag­ing ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy we can avoid com­i­cally long de­vel­op­ment time and this ul­ti­mately re­duces the cost to the Product Owner.

At the end of the day soft­ware de­vel­op­ment is a jour­ney and can be an emo­tional roller coaster for many. WorkingMouse is here to help you nav­i­gate and go on the jour­ney to­gether. If you feel ready and are in­ter­ested in build­ing out your own soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion please con­tact us here.

If you are in­ter­ested in find­ing out more about how we work check out our whitepa­per which is free to down­load.


Eban Escott

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