The last few days my colleagues and I have been making fun of the new Heineken commercial with the walkin’ fridge. While I was driving home from work it suddenly struck me that it just might have a little more value than one might expect from a commercial.
The dudes that made the commercial probably didn’t think about this, but when you take a close look, you will notice two things.
- The man that want’s the walk-in fridge does specify what he wants, but doesn’t provide enough detail to get the correct message across to the contractor.
- The contractor doesn’t ask questions, but assumes he knows what to make for the client.
You can’t really blame the guy that want’s the walk-in fridge, because crossing a language border twice can be hard. The accent of the contractor indicates that english is probably not his first language and neither is it for the man asking for the fridge. However if I were the contractor I wouldn’t know what to make of it either.
Going forward to the contractor. He doesn’t ask questions, even if he’s unsure whether he got it right. It’s always a bad thing to assume you know. This goes for every teammember on a software team, the guys that write the specs (The guy that talks to the customer about the walk-in fridge) usually get the blaim for not writing down the right specs. But there’s still a lot of stuff that goes wrong in the translation from use-case to actual production code. And most of the time this happens because the guy that writes code doesn’t ask if something isn’t clear.
You could say that the customer didn’t get what he asked for, but surprisingly he is happy with the end result. And I would be too, just for the sake that it’s cool to have a walkin’ fridge ;P
The conclusion you ask? Let’s just say that the commercial has reminded me that creating great products (or in the case of Info Support, great software) still remains a challenge that will keep me amused for years to come. And I think the readers of this post will probably wonder how I got to this…