By Bob Walsh
Joel Spolsky has a great essay today on why traditional software companies don’t understand the need to let developers develop called The Development Abstraction Layer. He argues a good software company should take care of all the mind-numbing business admin marketing stuff so that the developers can do their magic.
But what happens when you are a software company of one, two or a few people? Who takes care of business so you can design and code the program damnit!
If your micro-ISV partnership has developers and non-developers, you’ve got a good structure to work with: but what if there’s just you?
You have to learn how not only do these things yourself, but how to switch modes, hats and mentality between them. Sometimes you get to wear your developer hat, but you’ve also got to wear your marketing hat and your business manager hat and so on.
The trick to this bit of magic is compartmentalization in time and space. It’s knowing when you sit here you’re a developer and between 2-5 pm Fridays sitting over there you’re a marketer. It’s drawing thick black lines between your roles, and shifting venues even if it is only 2 feet to support those lines. It’s realizing that mashups are for web sites, not your brain or productivity. And it’s realizing you don’t have to be a genius level marcom person to get the job done for your micro-ISV as long as you get the job pretty-good done.
So what are you right now? Software Architect, software tester, web site designer, administrative assistant? It’s all good as the saying goes, and necessary. But even in a one man show you’ve got to keep your lines straight.
By Bob Walsh