About three weeks ago, one of my mentors contacted me on helping him work on a web site for an important client.
It was a very big deal, both because of the client we were doing it for and because someone I greatly respect had asked me to collaborate with him.
So, after listening (only partially, I was really excited about the job😂) to what he wanted I got to work.
It was a WordPress powered site and he wanted a specialised sort of gallery. So I set about doing it The WordPress Way™.
I searched everywhere for a plugin to do what I heard him say I should do.
I searched the WordPress Repositories, WPBeginner, WordPress.StackExchange.com even Medium. 😒.
I found nothing.
So, I reported back to him, my lack of success in finding a suitable plugin. I suggested that I build my own plugin.
He agreed. I told him I'd have it done in no time at all, because after all, it was "just" WordPress.
I felt I'd have WordPress development down in like five minutes.
Boy, was I wrong. But that's a discussion for another day.
Two long and gruelling weeks later, I was bruised and battered, but I had been victorious!🙋.
So, I uploaded my first WordPress plugin to the client's website, activated it and watched it work beautifully.
I pinged my mentor, confident that I would be applauded for my masterpiece.
He sent a voice note five minutes later. The voice note was ten seconds long.
Ten seconds after I started playing the voice note, I realised that I had wasted the last two weeks.
It wasn't a complete waste, since I learnt a lot of new stuff. But the primary objective was not achieved.
What the client had actually wanted could have been achieved in five or ten minutes if only I had listened to the request rather than let myself get carried away by what I wanted to do.
This happens to Creatives a lot. I once read on Medium (although, I can't remember who wrote it) that
"programmers could disappear into their laptops for months at a time, only to emerge with a product that nobody wants"
This perfectly sums up what happened to me😥 (even though, in my case, it was just two weeks instead of months).
Well, I finally learnt that the customer is King, or, at least, I hope I have😂.