Why don’t you get a dev to do that?

Introduction
A while ago I read an article by Marc Anderson about the difference between an IT Pro and a Dev.  Check it out:

http://sympmarc.com/2011/06/16/whats-the-difference-between-an-it-pro-and-a-dev/

It makes some interesting points.   I’m definitely in the IT Pro camp,  I’ve had a few goes at getting into development but I learned a long time ago that I was not very good  and should leave it to the experts.   However I do odd bits of code: JavaScript and C#.  I’ve produced:

•CRM3 workflow plugins for tidying strings
•SPD custom workflow extensions (various)
•Console app for updating SharePoint list items
•CRM3/4 form based JavaScript
•SharePoint JavaScript

The development that I can do, I’ve learnt because the opportunity to learn it arose.  If a project needs something done, that I don’t know how to do,  then there is an opportunity to learn something new and expand my skill set.  I like these opportunities but can only take advantage of them when it is sensible to do so.

I kindoff set myself a guide that I don’t produce things that need a UI to be written, I like  environments that provide the error handling and normally don’t need me to recurs through things.  My simple dev exercises get by without a separate technical design document and mean that there is only one set of project management.  This means more rapid project delivery.

The other day,  in the office,  I was showing one of my reports to a colleague who said why don’t you get a developer to do that?

Some Thoughts
This set me thinking (off and on)  about why and I have been struggling to answer.   At TSG we have several .Net developers (as well as other environments) but I think of them for doing:

•Custom web parts
•Bespoke web services
•Bespoke web applications
•Complex site/list definitions (done simple ones myself)

These things will generally have their own scope/URD/FRD, technical design and project management, hence you might describe our developers as software engineers. I’m slow compared to an experienced coder, so I would never try to compete on a full size development project but on a 2 day add-in this is less of an issue.

Report writing isn’t really Dev,  is it?
I remain to be persuaded that report writing is development, it is data analysis, queries and layout.  Although again I found myself adding code to a report recently as the customer’s server predated LookupSet.

More than one string to your bow
It is important to be fully employed and able to do as much of the work that comes your way as possible.   This helps make you a valuable member of staff and might keep you employed over less versatile colleagues.

Conclusion
So why don’t I get a dev to do that?
I want to deliver the best value on the project for the customer whilst providing a good solution.  At the same time I want to make myself valuable to my employer, add “strings” and progress my own personal development.

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