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Culture clash

Why developers hate the marketing team

JAX Editorial Team

Marketing image via Shutterstock

What is the beef between the programming and marketing teams? Why don’t they understand one another? Understanding the product, “easy” feature requests and broken promises are all part of the problem.

Developers and marketing professionals are two entirely independent professions, and they couldn’t be any more different. One sits in front of the screen, writing code and developing highly complex computer software. The other rushes from meeting to meeting, communicating and ensuring that the end product is delivered as promised. The problem arises only when there is a lack of understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities, not only because of lack of appreciation, but because the issue could mean the productivity of the company suffers.

Caroline Lares has devoted a blog post to this very subject and raises the (not entirely serious, but still worthy of consideration) question: Why do developers and marketers hate one another? As a principal cause she identifies the issue of empathy. Both groups are immersed so wholly in their own professional world, each with specific rules and requirements, that it would be difficult for them to put themselves in each other’s shoes.

False promises

The marketing expert makes certain promises to attract customers. They ignore the fact that the product can’t have an infinite number of features, which means that promises must be broken – much to the annoyance of the developer, who is then seen as the culprit. This attitude conveys a general ignorance of the development process.

Since only very few marketers themselves have had experience developing a program, they understand only some aspects that make up the peculiarities and intricacies of the programming process. This in turn leads to the next problem, namely when marketers make claims about specific characteristics of a product, none of which ultimately apply.

Annoying emails

According to Lares, interruptions at precisely the wrong moment bug developers big time. Annoying emails that arrive when you’re close to the solution of a major problem, time-consuming requests for evaluation of individual features, and requests to subsequently insert additional functions, arrive irrespectively of what can be implemented and what cannot.

Unfortunately, this issue is treated purely from the developer’s perspective. It would have helped to hear what bothers marketing experts about developers. With a little imagination, we can make a few assumptions: Uncommunicative programmers, lacking in feedback and bogging them down in technical details and subtleties. This debate is far from decided in any case.

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