Product Developer

Software development at product development companies is rigorously managed. For these companies, staying competitive, being on time, and keeping costs low is business survival. The formalities of the government projects give way to streamlined practices aimed at promoting productivity. Depending on the size of the company, requirement lists and specifications may resemble more of a task order than pseudo code. Version control may be maintained on a grease board as opposed to using a sophisticated configuration management tool. The concentration of effort is to keep the user documentation current, and the project plan includes a direction and focus for the product, ensuring that new features and capabilities keep up and surpass the competition.

In larger companies, coding standards and quality control exist and are continuously improved. In smaller companies, the coding team is compressed and the teams work closely, borrowing techniques from each other and standardizing modules on the fly. Product developers rely on government and non-computer industry organizations to buy their products and thus stay in business.

It is from the product developer that much new technology is developed and displayed to a marketplace composed of large and small businesses and personal computer users. Funding for new development and maintenance of existing products means business survival. Requirements change based on profit and loss statements, the direction of the computer industry, and development of new technology.

Documentation is put out on the Internet and made available for downloading. It primarily consists of installation guides, operations manuals, and user manuals. The quality and usability of the documentation has created a solid market for periphery books. These books are written and published outside of the computer companies that manufacture the products and are almost essential to users that want to gain product proficiency without spending hours aimlessly "playing" on the computer.

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