Got My Mind On My Product, And My Product On My Mind

Typical project NOT involving any product-minded developers

Many IT projects are poisoned by the “give us all the detailed requirements and we will build exactly that, whether it makes sense or not” mindset. The antidote is the product-minded developer (or engineer). As Gergely Orosz describes them, they want:

[…]to understand why decisions are made, how people use the product, and love to be involved in making product decisions.

Gergely Orosz, “The Product-Minded Software Engineer”

In the SAP world, product-mindedness comes with some special challenges because SAP standard is part of our product. Typically, SAP developers need to work with it to avoid another ZSAP or work against it to implement something the business users really need but SAP just doesn’t deliver. I think curiosity and not being afraid to ask “why?” is the key to not confusing one with another.

Also, in too many projects SAP developers are separated from the consumers of their product farther than from Kevin Bacon. This is a sure way for your product to end up like the tire swing meme. Want to avoid that? Then hire, support, and promote the product-minded developers. And let them ask the right questions to the right people. JP

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