Software Development is THE Hardest Thing to Explain

Explaining what you do to none software literal people is the hardest thing to do. Now that’s quite a bold statement as everything can be simplified into some simpler form; we connect this box to this box, we pass this bit of information to that place.


However, it starts to become more complex when the person you’re talking to has a bit more of an understanding of the subject matter.

We should all be able to explain concepts, as that truly demonstrates that you understand them yourself, but when the person starts questioning and doesn’t fully understand the ramifications of things we have to use different techniques.

Techniques To Try

  • Diagrams

A picture can explain a thousand words. Yes it can and it also starts a conversation!

  • A Proof Of Concept

Mocking things up just to demonstrate what you’re talking about is a great way to demonstrate understanding – as discussed in what an MVP is all about.

  • Analogies

I love using analogies for getting issues across as people can relate to it. It’s a real world example of something which the can relate to, so the idea is easier to absorb.

If you hear yourself saying, “it’s like a…” then you’re on the right track.

  • Work out What Matters To Them

If people are bought into something then they are more likely to want to learn, so work out what matters to them. If they’re only interested in one bit then

  • Do We Help Ourselves?

Probably not, as I spoke about in my previous article – Don’t Devalue the learning process  we as so very quick to simplify the complex and expect others to have the same level of knowledge that we have.


Sharing information and experiences is one of the key skills that developers should have. Without this we are unable to articulate problems, thoughts and solutions. The more we practice this skill the easier it becomes and the more likely we’ll deliver what people need.


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