This week was the last one on a real project with a real client where I experienced all the aspects of a real software project, including social and technical.
This essay is going to focus more on the social experience and my final notes of how I handled these situations personally and with my team.
Preparing the meetings
Within my team, we prepare every meet with the client to show progress with 2 days of anticipations, making an overview of the points, what is going to be said, and the possible questions that the client may ask.
All the team participates in this session making feedback and comment which words are used and which features are going to be displayed on the talk.
One important aspect of those presentations is that only one person is going to be the main speaker, in order to prevent distractions and make more dynamic and fast the session.
At the end of all of these, this preparation phase is more for structuring the points of the meeting, but at the end, things can happen differently, something can be broken or there would be tricky questions that the team doesn’t expect.
Being a listener in the meeting
It may be easy to only listen to the meeting but is important to be really into it, especially because your partner can make a mistake, forget something or just need a little help with one question.
This is not like “you’re going to be the hero of the session”, but are little comments that can make it more fluent, like “Oh, you forget this step” or “is not working because you put an invalid date”.
Also, is important to make notes to remember what happened, which points and fixes must be done for the next iteration, mostly because every member can detect different things.
All the team is involved in the project and knows different things about the system with different perspectives being listening to your mates makes a big difference in how I understand the program by understanding their perspective of what they do.
This is not a simple task (at least for me), because, unlike the client, I have seen that presentation quite a few times.
Being in a more focused mindset before the meeting starts and being determined of don’t get distracted and be focused on the meeting for the next 30 minutes was the approach that I take.
Being the one who talks
I encounter this position very exciting, I’m not the kind of person who likes to talk to talk in a big group of people, but presenting something in public, no matter how big is the public, is something that I always like and enjoy.
Besides the obvious preparation of the topics and the features of the application that will be presented, presenting is also about being relaxed in all aspects.
One of those aspects is the technical, not only the words used that can be understated by the client but also be careful with the actions you show on the screen, be more explicit on where is the mouse and which buttons you’re clicking to get those results is crucial, especially because you as the creator of the program you know all the ways and shortcuts, but the client doesn’t.
Another aspect to take into count is the rhythm of the explanation, not too fast to prevent overwhelm and question of what’s going on, and not too slow.
Personally, I have problems with the first because of the inevitable nervous of being the one who is speaking, but this kind of nervousness before a talk is normal and only can be mastered with more experience.