ArabNetME Developers’ Day Feedback [Blogpost 2]

Technical would be a good word to describe ArabNetME’s first day. Developers from across the Middle East and North Africa flocked to Beirut, with attendance soaring an additional 150 only hours before the summit.

This year is special, because for the first time, the guys art ArabNet are addressing a serious problem in the digital realm. According to figures highlighted today, some 80% of failed development projects are a result of miscommunication between clients and developers. This day aims to group these creators of the web interface, with those that will sell and utilize it.

Clients are never sure and change their minds frequently, and developers should not be automatic coding machines, says Anas Maarawi. Instead, developers should be part of the decisions and should be able to say no to the client. In fact, it is one of the rare cases where the customer is NOT always right. An example given is a request by a client that he’d like chat integrated into his website. If this coding tour-de-force is not really necessary, or won’t really be used or help the business’s aims, the developer should advise the client against it, and explain why.

With these whopping numbers, the mechanisms of solving this miscommunication problem between difficult clients and passive developers, is “agility coding.” This “agile” form of development is basically several stages in the developing sequence, where each stage meets a certain requirement. At each level, the client can see and try the incomplete app, and give the ok or ask for modifications accordingly. This way, you avoid the nasty blow when months of coding will be rejected by the client.

Dozens of professionals could be seen around the halls and conference rooms, scouting for up and coming developers for their various businesses. QR codes could be seen being scanned, and business cards exchanged as some developers showed interest in employment, sponsorship or logistical support by one of the sponsors.

Also worth mentioning is the presence of Nokia, iSpice Photos and Microsoft’s BizSpark in the lobby areas, raising awareness about their various services and competitions/promos/services they’re providing for ArabNet.

To put it in fewer words, the overall sentiment is that this day was essential and that it was a very fruitful idea. Some of the topics might seem uncontroversial to more experienced developers, but all-in-all, the interaction and Q&A sessions have proven very effective

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