While working with clients and learning how to develop software, I also learned how to ask questions. You may not think this is relevant to you but having the skill of knowing how to ask questions really helps in learning and collaborating with others such as working with software developers or other professionals like me and especially when you are learning and working with technology.
Knowing how to ask questions is a big deal in the Tech community. Not only will it save time but it also helps me communicate clearly with the people I am working with and it helps reduce miscommunication and clarify the requirements for tasks and projects.
Recently, I learned about the S.T.A.R. method for interviewing. Since I was a military spouse for a long time, I was not able to have regular employment and the chance to build a career. I had to build my own opportunities as my own boss and I only recently realized the STAR method was already something I was incorporating in the way I would communicate with others.
Just in case, the S.T.A.R. method stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
It won’t be exactly the same as asking questions but there are some similarities so if you are familiar with the STAR method, it may be a good starting point. The point is that when asking questions, just asking a question like ‘How do I solve this?’ often is not enough.
When I ask questions, I first try to explain the lay of the land. What is the current situation, what is it that I am trying to accomplish? Also, what things have I done to get to where I am currently and what have I tried to do to get to my goal?
Instead of just saying outright, “Help! Can you solve this for me?” Explaining more details and showing what you’ve done so far is more constructive and helps frame your problem better.
In terms of development, if you are having issues with your app, here is one way you can go about laying out your situation and explaining what is going on if you run into an issue so the people you are asking help from will be better equipped to help you: 1. I am having this particular issue with my app:
For my own clients, the situation is flipped. During discovery calls or meetings, when a client comes to me with a problem to solve, I ask them similar questions (besides listening) in order to help me better understand their situation: 1. What issue or project do you need help with? 2. What is the situation with your tools and processes, and branding assets right now? 3. What are your goals or where do you need to get to? 4. What have you tried to try and meet your goals? What worked and what did not work? 5. I know about
Sometimes when I am explaining my problem in this way to another person, I actually end up solving my own issue and learning more about how development works and when working with clients it really helps me to pinpoint the real issue and helps me formulate a proposal for solving it.
How do you ask your questions?