Five tips for creatives working with developers
Wednesday’s catch-up with the dev team is a go. And they’ve come with requirements. Lots of them. SSL, DNS, AD/LDAP, VPS—gulp. It’s the one meeting that never fails to push you out of your depth.
Let’s be real—developers know their stuff, and as a creative, you know yours. But you both approach challenges from different angles, speaking different languages. It can be easy to lose sight of the collective goal—and the knowledge that when two teams work together, magic happens.
So how can you keep that focus and better bridge the creative-technical divide? These five tips will ensure that by your next dev meeting, you’ll be logging laps at the deep-end.
Involve Developers Early On
What makes a smart leader look good? They hire the best people, then let them do what they do best. For smart creatives, working with developers is the same.
Involving dev teams early on in the project is important. They offer valuable insight into the design and analysis phase. For example: they’ll know that when securing sensitive customer data, a web host based in Canada (Oh Hai, Rebel!) is the gold-standard thanks to the stringent local privacy laws. In flagging issues like this well ahead of time, devs help reduce potential bottlenecks.
So don’t be precious about your projects. You’ll get major bonus points with your peers by showing that you value their opinions, and you’ll be able to pull together a more realistic roadmap to boot.
Just remember to be efficient in this process—keep meetings to-the-point and show collaborators that you value their time as much as their opinions.
Bring Informed Solutions
Dev teams are busy. So few things are more frustrating for them than unnecessary headaches like laggy performance, limited server capacity, or bottlenecks from shared hosting. And have a guess at who they’ll hold accountable for all that?
Don’t be that person. The cheapest solution isn’t always the right one when gearing up for success—so here’s a tip to win brownie points all-round: VPS hosting. VPS hosting is the happy middle-ground between shared and dedicated hosting. It fences off dedicated resources on a server while costing a fraction of a dedicated hosting solution.
This means devs can run (and test) all the projects they need without worrying about performance impact, and you can rest easy knowing your budget is on point.
Embrace the Style Guide
Think style guides are only for designers? Think again. A style guide helps developers by offering a visual touch-point throughout coding, explaining the rationale behind a design. Getting ahead with a style guide means less back-and-forth on queries, which keeps the team on the same page—and the focus on the big picture.
So why not create a style guide that both teams can use? Check out Atlassian’s design language or Lonely Planet’s live style guide for inspiration. Can’t get enough? Treat yo self!
Learn The Lingo
Developers breathe life into projects, so why not learn how? Don’t panic, you don’t need to learn how to code. But as with any language, the locals appreciate it when you try. Take some time to brush up on the key concepts. It’ll make it easier for you to understand where your devs are coming from the next time they push back.
Check out Codecademy for a free coding resource. And Rebel Academy offers plenty of insights into relevant hosting solutions. Finally, take a peek at our Web Hosting 101 Guide for Agencies to figure out which hosting solution is right for different use-cases.
Give Them Space
Don’t generalize your dev team. Lumping all developers into the same box is helpful to approximately no one. Think about it. How many times have people characterized your creativity as a "world of chaos”? Sigh.
One thing that stands true is this: the type of work developers do requires a different approach. Where creative workplaces are often hotbeds of open conversation; dev and coding work require concentration, and distractions can throw them off their game.
Simply being mindful of that when working with dev teams can go a long way. Streamlined communication = good. Meetings overload = bad. Execution requires time, focus, and a little space to get the job done. That means the more you can troubleshoot issues on your own, the better.
For hosting, a dedicated solutions manager can be a boon in this regard. Rebel’s reliable VPS manager Joey will have your back from the very start—ready and waiting to support and answer all your pressing questions.
Beautiful things happen when creatives and devs get on the same page. So why not kick things off with fast, reliable, and secure VPS hosting?
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