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The Rules of Software Development: As Told by Pixar

What do storytelling and software development have in common? Blake Callens says more than people realize, especially when the storytelling is done by Pixar. No, computer animation has nothing to do with Pixar’s particular ties to IT, but Pixar Story Artist Emma Coates’s 22 rules of storytelling might. Well, at least 11 of them do. Curious? Take a look at some of Callen’s proposed similarities.

Coates suggests what’s interesting to your audience is more important than what’s fun to do as a writer. Callens says it’s the same with software development. Don’t spend too much time adding cool features, when what your customers need is their problems solved.

Coates also suggests you finish your story, even if it’s not perfect. Software developers should do the same. Don’t hold onto a project long after it’s finished. You can fine tune forever, but what you need is something market worthy.

Finally, start writing. Or, in this case, building your program. You may end up exposing many flaws, but a perfect idea in your head is worthless to everyone, including yourself. Storytelling and software development might seem like completely different professions, but they both involve a lot of creativity. If you can combine that creativity with hard work, you’ll be much closer to building a memorable product.            

About Rachel Ginder

Rachel Ginder was a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success and joined the team in 2013. She also helped with social media and research.

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