I saw a recent survey where software developers across the United States revealed they would rather do their taxes or visit a dentist than test their own software. While that might seem cute, the most alarming aspect of the survey indicated developers know and understand the financial risks associated with their disdain for testing. On average, developers estimate their last bug cost their employer at least $200,000. Despite this large financial penalty, less than 20% of respondents indicated the company’s financial pain caused them to change their behavior.
These are alarming statistics for those of us in the software industry.
As I thought about this survey, I couldn't help contrast these findings with the behavior of my local lawn care provider, Scotts.
Here me out.
I hired Scotts to take care of my lawn. They spray for weeds once a month and keep my neighbors happy with me. When I was recently contacted at my home about additional Scott's services, I noticed the salesperson was very familiar with my lawn. Since I tend to notice good upsells (hey, it’s part of my job) I asked the caller how he knew so much about my circumstances. Turns out the caller on the phone that night was the same guy that sprays my lawn for weeds during the day.
This approach doesn't work in every business but it should.
From a customer perspective, there is nothing more compelling than buying a product from someone who has ownership in the product they are selling. From Scott's perspective, this approach is not only effective but it’s extremely efficient from a resource perspective.
If more software companies asked their developers to be resonsible for client success, developers would think twice before consciously not testing their code.
We're blessed at iGoDigital. We have a team of dedicated developers who really are focused on building great product recommendation software and delivering real value to our clients. Despite the talents and passions of our team, I wonder what would happen if we asked our developers to behave like the employees of Scotts.