Programming Principle: Ask Questions

February 24, 2019

If you feel certain you know what your client wants, and you haven’t asked them, then you must ask them. Otherwise, your client will feel ignored, and you’ll come across as arrogant.

You may feel confident you can give them what they want without asking, but such confidence is foolish. Maybe this client, this time, will want something different. All you need to do is ask.

Don’t cut corners. You may have served every single client to a point that you just do the same thing for everyone, but there’s two things at work here you:

  1. You don’t know for certain what the client wants.
  2. Your client doesn’t know for certain that you know what they want.

For the first, you must ask questions; for the second, you must ask questions.

As professionals, people assume we know what we are doing, and we should. However, as programmers, variables are a fact of life – and we can’t dismiss that client’s are variable, too.

By asking questions, you get closer to what a client wants, but also what they don’t want.

Knowing what your client doesn’t want will save you tremendous time, especially if you feel yourself getting carried away with a feature you think they want but haven’t made sure they do want. Again, just ask.