Whether you are a new project manager, coordinator or client; dealing with developers will continue to reveal itself as part art, part science, and part major headache! The list below highlights 5 tips on how to deal with developers while working on a project. In other words, how non-technical people deal with the techies.
1. Clear cache is always the answer
Regardless of the problem, this would probably be the first thing a developer will tell you when encountering an issue. So, to save both time and effort, make sure you’ve troubleshooted the problem before hitting tech support. Just clear cache; browsing cache, site cache, eyesight cache, etc. This is the secret to all developers. Always take a deep breath then press clear cache and somehow everything refreshes correctly. Don’t ask me how it works - it just does.
2. Let the code do the talking
Many project managers and team members have a difficult time understanding each other because of a lack of culture and technical knowledge. Here's a quick tip: Always pretend like you understand the gibberish, and occasionally include gibberish vocabulary to your sentences. This is how it’s done:
Techie: (Rolls eyes..) Hay :/
Non-Techie: We have an issue...please try to use drush, cc, hook form alter to solve it.
Techie: (Shocked...) Yea, but it could also be due to the DNS switch, module's configuration and cron job.
Non-Techie: (confused) Yeah, correct. Please look into that.. (walks away quietly)
3. Be polite and Skype first
If you see a developer with his headphones on, chances are that they’re either enjoying their music, or trying to avoid being talked to. Either way, you might want to buzz them on Skype before interrupting their workflow with an un-urgent task. Or you can take your chances and learn to suck it up when you’re kicked away.
4. Use the data against them
If the developer is trying to elude the problem, just point out hard data of how things were done on previous projects or even other websites. This would push them into a corner they wouldn’t be able to escape and you’ll get what you want.
5. Remember they are human too
Remember this when you’re dealing with developers, some of them could be extra emotional or sensitive about their work, so make sure you deal with developers accordingly. Give credit where it is due and acknowledge respectfully.
Within all the chaos, it is most important to find a good balance of understanding to produce a powerful end result. And we are certain that developers also have a lot of tips on dealing with non-techies.