Mohamed Boudra

Software is About People

June 11, 2023

When I first started building software, my focus was always on the code. Whenever there was a problem, technical or not, my immediate response was find a solution by throwing code at it.

I realise now that software development is not really about the code itself, but about people. The code comes after.

Software is built by people, for people. And when it comes to people, there is no soft skill more essential than empathy.

Empathy towards our teammates is crucial to build great software. By embracing empathy within our team, we can create and environment of collaboration, support, and shared understanding.

Equally significant is empathy towards end users, while writing code can be fun in itself and can be an outlet for intellectual stimulation and creativity (and it's totally okay to build software just for the sake of it), we have to remember that code is just a tool, a means to an end.

The primary purpose of code is to build software that is useful and impactful. That's why it's important to strike a balance between the technical aspects of coding and the software's intended impact.

It is a natural tendency to develop tunnel vision and become overly focused on the codebase, losing sight of the fact that our efforts should ultimately result in a meaningful impact for the end user.

One way to put this into practice is to consistently ask how your actions impact the rest of the team and the end users, and prioritize accordingly.