Engineers Should Be Included in Product Design

Engineers Should Be Included in Product Design
Photo by Jason Goodman / Unsplash

Ever been dealt a "fantasy" product design and thought, "What planet did this come from?" Yep, me too. I used to be that engineer, scrambling to meet insane deadlines with caffeine as my co-pilot. Frustrated, I began to push back, offering alternative routes and questioning the big "why's." This back-and-forth sucked up time like a black hole, leading to a process change that included me from the start. Whether I'm coding, managing, or consulting, I've pushed for engineers to be included early, and it's led me to produce some great products.

Forget the stereotypes. Engineers are no longer just the nerdy, introverted folks who'd rather talk to a computer than you. While not everyone, engineer or otherwise, wants to be part of brainstorming, a new breed of engineers does. They bring balance to the equation. The lesson? Always have an engineering voice in the mix early on.

1. Engineers Know Their Stuff
Engineers have the lowdown on what's buildable. They'll tell you if your "innovative idea" is a castle in the sky or a genuine game-changer. Wouldn't you want that kind of real talk during planning?

2. A Motivated Team is a Creative Team
When engineers push the envelope, your product could go from "meh" to "wow." Sideline them, and you risk building a haven of mediocrity. Nobody signed up for that.

3. Engineers Are Users Too
They're not assembly-line robots; they're your first line of product testers with ideas that can make your widget the next big thing. Don't squander this goldmine.

4. Inclusion Equals Motivation
Inclusion boosts morale like nothing else. An engineer who feels part of the grand plan will go the extra mile—or code line.

5. The Emotional Investment
When engineers have a seat, they don't just bring their laptops; they bring their hearts. That emotional buy-in? It's a potent catalyst for success.

6. No One Likes Feeling Alienated
Exclusion is the fastest way to a disengaged engineer. And let's be real, if they're not happy, they won't stick around long.

7. Living on the Edge (Cases)
Engineers have a sixth sense for detecting edge cases. These are blind spots you can't afford to ignore.

Wrapping It Up:

Next brainstorming session, save a seat for your engineers. You'll not only end up with a more rock-solid product, but you'll also keep your team fired up and invested. A double win, if you ask me.

Look, engineers may speak in if, else, and switch but their contributions are more like awesome, brilliant, and essential. Time to rewrite the old `<script>` and make them part of the process.