The development team's relationship with sales and customers can be a source of inspiration—and a source of frustration. It can be inspiring because great ideas come out of customer and sales interactions; it can be frustrating when communication problems lead to unnecessary work and when sales promises features or products before consulting with development about the reality of those promises. As development manager, you must always remember that the company's success depends on pleasing your customers—even if that means dealing with frustrating situations.

Although many software engineers at small companies have some customer exposure, most engineers do not see customer communication as a primary strength ...

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