3 Common Mistakes New Developers Make with Users

February 16, 2016 in Technology

Did you ever have a project not go as expected? Or just outright fail? I have. More than an few times. And while everyone of those failures hurt, being able to learn and grow from the experience has still been helpful in my journey as a developer. “How did we get this wrong?” That is the question programmers often ask after they get feedback on a development project that didn’t meet expectations. And usually the most common answer is they didn’t meet the needs of all of the users. I find that what a lot of young developers miss is that they spent too much time focusing on the needs of the stakeholders involved in development project. The job isn’t to just satisfy those who are the project stakeholders.

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Writing NGO comms content that’s genuinely exciting: kill the hype

February 16, 2016 in Communications

Business-speak has a (justifiably) bad rep. And I am ashamed to say that, even (or especially) as a writer, I am not immune. It takes a friend to call you out on it, as in the following exchange:

I mean, honestly. All those words instead of just saying ‘We’ll work it out.’

In my defence, I had recently been engaged in a lot of business speak with business people doing business, and there’s a certain impatience to the mind of the good businessman. He wants the job done, because that’s how he (and you) are going to deliver what’s needed. And so language becomes either loopy and obtuse (as when trying to hold an ambiguous situation in a sentence so the sentence still ends with an action point), or astonishingly over-hyped.

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