Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's start with my own fuzzy definitions of Application Developer and Content Developer.

An Application Developer writes the Code that 'makes things happen'.   The simplest analogy I can run with is a car.  Most of us want to get in, turn the key, put it in reverse, back out of the driveway, stop, shift to drive and be on our way.  If I put it in reverse, touched the accelerator and instead it went forward, rolled onto my wife's garden, then I'd be miffed.

An Application Developer may categorize this unexpected behavior as a bug and perhaps suggest a workaround, "When you want to back up, just put it in drive and vice versa.  You never explicitly stated that Drive meant Go Forward and Reverse meant Go Back."  Fixing the undesired behavior may only be a 2 minute Javascript edit or could be much more complex and require redesign and thorough testing of the entire transmission.  The Application Developer would likely be in over his head and need to report and document the transmission problem to the manufacturer,  as a bug.  The Application Developer's primary objective is a well-tuned car.

A Content Developer drives the car.  He/she knows the destination, the planned stops, the expenses to be incurred during travel, the route and most importantly; the purpose and goals of the trip. Typically, the Content Developer will have deep, vertical knowledge of a specific subject, but the underlying code is generally baffling, boring or both.  "I'm on my way to an important sales meeting and I just rolled over my wife's tomato plants.  Now I'm late for the meeting and as an extra, I'll catch an earful when I get back home."  The Content Developer's primary objective is a successful presentation or meeting.  The car is merely a Tool.

The Content Developer didn't fully describe the intended behavior and assumed the Application Developer was a mind-reader.  In addition, the Content Developer didn't test in a safe environment.  As a result, the meeting was missed, a sale lost and there will be no tomato pie for dinner.

The Application Developer failed to ask "What should happen when you put it in Reverse?" and also allowed the Content Developer to get in an unsafe vehicle, lose a sale and crush tomato plants.

They did not collaborate.

Next week I'll begin to post specifics about the Collaborative Tools that are the Core of the Younicycle Platform as a Service.

Postnote example:  I bought a Wordpress upgrade for this Blog and for reasons unknown, it removed the sidebar +  cropped the header image and resized the text.  That folks, is a double-bug.  Pay more, get less.
As a result, I just moved the Blog to Blogspot. Content Developers (such as myself), don't care for unpleasant surprises.

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