The Web Project Guide Podcast: Episode 20: Implement the Back-End Functionality (w/ David Knipe)

It’s The Web Project Guide Podcast, and we made you a new episode.

I don’t know a lot about back-end development, and that’s on purpose. There are people who do it better, and I should let them do it. That’s how this stuff works, and it’s great: let the people who are good at things do the things they are good at.

But, there’s also a lot to understanding the process itself — I don’t know how to do it, but I should know how it’s done. Because people still make decisions.

In this month’s podcast, we talk to Optimizely’s David Knipe about that intersection: the code and development, and the people who do it — and approve it. David rightfully points out that development functionality and systems cannot exist on their own: they require a human connection.

From our interview:


What do we need to carry over from (…) past discussions as we begin this building process? What is it that we learned during selection of a CMS and selection of implementation partner that actually helps us as we move into developing the site?


…I think someone once said to me once that, particularly when you’re making a selection process, there’s often a pitching process. It can often be like therapy. You get your pains out. You get your problems out. You’re perhaps sitting actually in that room with people who’ve never sat in before. … I’ve been in scenarios where you walk in and about halfway through the kind of meeting you realize that these people have never met each other, never spoken to each other because they’re from different departments within the organization.

So I think being that sort of coherent team and the building a common set of objectives out from the result of that process is really important.

Because again, the question I always ask when I would speak to a customer is, “What’s your site for?” And if someone says, “To publish news articles.” I’ll say, “No, it’s not to publish news articles. You’re publishing news articles in order to be able to educate your customers about X, Y, or Z,” whatever it is. … I always think about the end objective as a team, what you’re trying to achieve. The CMS and the implementation and the selection that you’ve gone through is ultimately a tool to help you further your kind of endeavors as an organization or a company. It’s not there just to be a CMS implementation for the sake of it.

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