Today is my birthday. Yay! And since today is all about me, I will choose what I want as a present. As a developer, here's what I want:
I want developers to be empowered to do whatever they need to do to satisfy the real business needs and delight their customers.
I want developers to be accountable for the decisions they make, and not by decisions that are made for them.
I don't want to see developers going through endless meetings trying to prove why they shouldn't use the technologies or architecture defined by an ivory tower architect. In fact, ivory-tower architects should be an extinct species (visit your nearest National History Museum if you want to see one).
I want developers to know the truth. If a decision was made because of political reasons, please tell us that that is the case. We will still be unhappy but at least we will find it easier to digest.
Although we are happy to justify and explain every technical decision we, the development team, make, we don't want to have any person that is not part of the development team making technical decisions.
I don't want to see developers working with technical people that think that their role is to define the architecture of a project. I want developers to work with people that focus on delivering the simplest solution to a problem; satisfying functional and non-functional requirements. If we can achieve that without writing software, even better. And no, that doesn't mean quick and dirty.
In case we need to write software to solve a business problem, I want developers to craft solutions in a way that changes are embraced and the business will never be slowed down by technical incompetence.
I want developers that can build applications that will provide a good return on investment to the business. I don't want to see applications being decommissioned after a few years because they became a pile of crap; the maintenance cost is so high that it is cheaper to rewrite.
I want to work with developers that are passionate and care about what they do. Every single day I want to speak to my colleagues and learn something new from them, the same way they should learn something new from me.
I want to work with people (not just developers) that embrace changes and provide business agility. I don't want to keep embarrassing myself every time I need to tell stakeholders that the small change they want will take a few months to be done (due to the crap application/architecture/process we have).
I want to work in a place where we can choose the best technology or tool for the job; without being told that we cannot do that because our people don't have the skills. "They need to be trained." (sigh)
Instead of being told that we need to build a new feature or even an entire new application using specific technologies, we would appreciate if we were just given the business requirements. I would love to see that developers are trusted to provide the best solution for the problem.
I would like to see the people behind all the bureaucracy and stupid processes being blamed by the damage they are causing.
I would like to see all the 9-to-5 employees being replaced by just a few passionate, talented, well-paid and empowered professionals.
I wish all companies recognised software development as a full career and not as just the initial steps for management. Yes, this is stupid.
I wish that every organisation paying for a software project understood the principles of Software Craftsmanship and the importance to have real software craftsmen working on their projects.
You may be thinking that I'm not being reasonable. After all, my birthday is almost over and of course no one will be able to give me all the things I want today, as a birthday present. You are right. I agree. And because of that, I won't add all the many other wishes I have to the list above. I could go on forever.
The good news for me is that I'm really smart and I always have a plan B. Although I'm a disappointed that I won't get all these things for my birthday this year, my plan is to be a good boy for the rest of the year and maybe Santa will bring me some of these for Xmas.