Hello, my name is Mat and this is my story
I’ve been working in the mobile world since first Windows Mobile smartphones hit the market in 2003. I first started working for a mobile development company as an intern, moved my ranks up to senior mobile developer, and then after 3 years, I decided to quit and became my own boss. One of my best decisions ever, despite the bumpy road.
Throughout my career I’ve created quite a lot of mobile apps (I think 50+ is a fair guess). For the last 10 years I’ve been working solely as a freelancer, in remote teams of various sizes, makeups, and cultures. The sad part of the story is that only a few of my apps made financial success. Despite my hardest effort as developer, most of the times we’ve failed as a team to deliver value to customers.
And this hurts a lot. In several painful aspects.
One thing that hurts is the money I saw go to waste along the way. I worked on projects where thousands of dollars were spent carelessly without any factual underlying idea. Projects going in circles just because we needed to have some ‘progress’ to display. Complicated features developed just because someone thought that this is what users might want. And most of the time they wanted something else.
But what hurts me most is that I didn’t do much about it. Sure, I tried to raise concern, discuss options to various problems, but in the end whenever I felt resistance, I backed off. To be honest, now that I’m writing this: most of the time that wasn’t even actual resistance – my objections were just ignored or postponed, something to think about in the future, leaving things as they were. I did my job – I developed apps. And then I watched them slowly crumble into the archives of the Internet.
Over the last few years I gave much thought to why do projects fail.
Although I know that I’m far from finding the ultimate answer, I’ve learnt a lot about software development processes and I see a lot of room for improvement – especially so, in the way projects are managed. Poor communication, lack of clear requirements, poorly defined responsibility for the product, lengthy decision-making process, unrealistic schedules resulting in rush work and poor quality… These are what I’ve been dealing with on a daily basis.
I would love to write more here about the good experiences I‘ve had, but quite frankly – there was just too little of these. This is why I decided to embark upon sharing my thoughts here, getting feedback from all of you, and thus eventually improving the way we create software.
I will call my mission success if one day I am able to edit this “about” section and start again with this sentence:
“For the last few years, most of the projects I’ve worked on met with a huge success…”