Engineers vs Designers – Kennedy Kahiri

(More Kenya notes)

I attended a talk on Friday by Kennedy Kahiri about the relationship – often adversarial – between software developers and designers. Developers, he said, are interested in building the right thing, while designers tend to be focused on building the thing right. These different priorities can lead to conflict. He outlined seven things you can focus on to avoid these conflicts:

  1. Be collaborators, not competitors
  2. Process should be inclusive, not siloed
  3. Work by compromise, not ultimatums
  4. Build for the customer, not for your own ego
  5. Be flexible. Adapt to realities. Don’t be stubborn/rigid about decisions
  6. Before designing or coding, understand WHY you are doing this, and what problem you are solving
  7. Build something that solves a problem, and has a positive impact on business

As an Amazonian, of course, it all comes back to #4 – the focus on the customer first in all decisions leads to the best solutions.

Overall, a really great talk.

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