Software is About Value, NOT Code

The real purpose of software is value; value to the business, value to the user. Software is written with code, but the software has nothing to do with the code. The code is just a means to an end. This is a concept that is lost on many technology professionals and software developers.

I’ve written before about how “The Technology is NOT Important” and that “Software is Written FOR PEOPLE”. Some comments across social media have made me thing that it’s worth writing this cross comparison perspective, since it seems it’s common that many who work in IT don’t see.

When you’re new to software development you get caught up in the excitement of all the tools and languages. You learn which are better, and why they’re better. You are learning new things constantly. With all this learning and excitement, you get caught in the weeds of which technology is better, cooler, faster, etc. But you don’t look up to realize that the tools, the code, aren’t really what matter.

The entire reason we write software is for people. Those people need to be able to use the software to get the value out of it they are looking for. This is the case for all business software, as well as social media and games.

If you don’t ship the software, people wont get value. It doesn’t matter how optimize the code is for speed, how cool the implementation is, or how elitist the technology stack is.

The entire purpose of software is to provide value. That’s it.

You may think the tools are cool, and the code is elegant and innovative. The users don’t care. The don’t see that. All the users see is how useful the software is for them.

If the users don’t get value from the software, then all the technology and code are worthless.

Try to keep this in mind the next time you are under pressure to meet a release deadline, or need to stay late to troubleshoot an issue. You can always refactor and optimize the code, but nobody will pay you to do it if the users don’t get value from the software.