Mail me about my driving

On the highway on my way to Meppel to visit a customer, I passed a truck. A yellow truck. From Gentbrugge, Belgium. Although I hardly ever read the signs on trucks, passing this truck it immediately caught my eye. On the back of the truck a clear sign stated: mail me about my driving, followed by an email address, of presumably the truck driver.

Now what is so remarkable about that, you might think. Well a number of things, I should respond. First of all it is a feedback loop. Whenever the driver makes a strange move, or perhaps if he is driving his truck gentile and not exceeding any speed limits, you, as you coincidentally pass this truck, are entitled to give feedback to the driver. And because the driver is asking for this feedback, he is likely taking this feedback very serious. He is open to critism. Isn’t that remarkable? I think it is even admirable.

Let’s transpose this thought to software development for a moment. Suppose I write a piece of software; I do some work for you as a customer. And right when I’m done, or even when I’m still working on it, I ask you for your feedback. What does this mean? It means two things:

  • I’m not perfect. I’m just doing the best I can to create your software as good as it gets.
  • I value your opinion!

Feedback is always good – positive that is – to improve the quality of what you’re doing, and when it comes to complex stuff like writing software or driving a huge truck through dense traffic, it helps us improve.

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