Serengeti logo BLACK white bg w slogan

Client Relations in Software Development - Insights from a Developer

Janja Popović, Mid Software Developer.

After several years of experience in development, when I look back at the very beginning and my expectations, as someone who wanted to be a programmer since elementary school, I can say that the reality is different from everything I imagined.

When I graduated from college, my idea was to immediately work on the development of new software solutions using the latest technologies, but the reality is that some projects are not so innovative but are still valuable experience - and that's exactly what I liked about that.

In this text, I will try to convey to you what I wish someone had told me at the very beginning – lessons learned in dealing with clients.

Understanding the client's business culture

image 2

While working with different clients, I encountered different business styles and company cultures. I had experience with a company that tended to maintain a strictly business relationship, where there was no room for deeper communication except for the tasks assigned to you. I think it is very important to understand the environment and culture the client comes from and adapt to it.

On the other hand, some clients I worked with insisted on meeting me in person, so I had the opportunity to go to their offices and work with colleagues I had only seen online until then. It was a very useful experience that helped me better understand the company's culture and adapt more easily to the environment I worked in.

Clients from the Balkans have a different approach to work and teams than in other countries, the tendency is to connect people in teams, not only on a business level, but also to build a sense of community. It was very refreshing to switch to a project where the atmosphere was more relaxed, and people were more open to communication. Even if we are not used to such a culture, we have to find a way to adapt and carry out our tasks conscientiously and responsibly.

Relationship with colleagues

Communication with colleagues is one of the most important factors, whether we like the project or not, the colleagues we work with will contribute to our sense of satisfaction. My experience with my colleagues has always been positive. I have never encountered any problems in communication even if we disagree. Nowadays, when we mostly work from home, it is very difficult to build connections with other people, you need to find time to get to know your colleagues better, even online.

That open communication should start with you, and you can use the opportunity to say something about your private life, as well as to ask the people you work with something about them. Sometimes, people connect more easily if they feel that someone wants to get to know them, and this is where beautiful, but also useful communication begins. I think it is very important that you are the one who starts the conversation first and that your colleagues "catch" you. Before, it was much easier to get close to someone in the office, now it takes much more effort and initiative to establish communication that is not strictly business.

Asking for help

image 3

Like everyone else, I made mistakes at the beginning and my insecurities made me afraid to ask my colleagues anything. I can honestly say that I felt like I was bothering someone whenever I asked something I didn't understand. I was lucky to work with colleagues and clients who were full of understanding and got help whenever I asked for it.

The biggest problem was that I was trying to do everything by myself, and that's not good because sometimes you can't learn properly and quickly. When I became more relaxed, I started to progress much faster and had a better relationship with my colleagues and clients.

I am currently able to help someone who is looking for help, which gives me pleasure and is by no means 'bothering'. It is very important to realize that it is normal to ask more experienced colleagues for help and that there are no stupid questions.


It often happens that in the desire to leave a good impression on others, especially on the client, we neglect our desires and emotions, or what is important to us. I was experiencing stagnation at work, and it caused inner dissatisfaction, but out of fear that, if I said something, I could get fired, I put up with it and stayed where I was. That kind of insincere communication is wrong and does not lead in the right direction, it only leads to even greater dissatisfaction.

Over the years, I have learned to be honest - first of all, with myself, but also with the client. I have always found understanding for my problems and I have created an open and healthy relationship with the client. Of course, every topic we discuss should be kept on a professional level and we should remain calm and clear so that someone can understand us better. It is bad if we become so dissatisfied that we lose control and feel uncomfortable, and if we had said something about the problem earlier, it would have probably already been solved.

The desire to advance

image 4

All of us involved in development are aware that technologies change and that there is always room for improvement. We can improve our knowledge, but also our communication skills, which are equally important in this job. It is very important to clearly define what we want to do and to express it clearly in the conversation with the client. At the very beginning, I didn't work on projects I wanted, but mostly on system maintenance, which at first didn't offer much room for improvement.

I always aspired to work on the best possible projects and to improve myself, and that was the reason for my dissatisfaction. When I look back at the projects that didn't seem useful to me at the time and that made me wonder "What am I doing here", I can see how much I learned and progressed working on them. Those projects helped me understand what I don't want and to be more honest with myself and others about the direction in which I want to improve, and not just accept something that doesn't make me happy, all for the sake of some comfort zone that I falsely created for myself.

It is easiest to communicate when everything is beautiful and shiny, but what I learned the most about working on such projects is how to communicate with clients if something is not right. So, it is important to understand that each project provides us with a unique experience that, even if we are not aware of it at the moment, can be very useful in the future.


I hope that this experience of mine will help someone who is in my position at the very beginning and that it will motivate them to progress and always strive for better. It is important to make a good impression on the client and satisfy all the requirements of the project, but it is equally important to think about our mental health and to know what we want to do and what we don't want to do. If there hadn't been projects I didn't like, I wouldn't know now that I appreciate the projects that give me peace, security, and that nice feeling when I don’t have to apply for a job.

Let's do business

The project was co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. The content of the site is the sole responsibility of Serengeti ltd.