Conducting the Digital Symphony: How to conduct the orchestra of website development

In the week leading up to Easter, I had the privilege of attending a performance of Bach's masterpiece, the "St. John Passion," by the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir. As I immersed myself in this three-hour masterpiece, my mind began to wander. Observing how the conductor led the orchestra and choir, an apparently absurd comparison began to form: "Is it possible to find similarities between conducting a symphony and developing websites?"

Maria Reis da Cunha
Apr 9 2024 • 3 min reading
Conducting the Digital Symphony: How to conduct the orchestra of website development

In the days following the concert, still completely mesmerized by what I had witnessed, the conductor's performance and the crucial role he played in the piece continued to resonate. I then began to take my reverie seriously: Could we speak of "digital conductors"?

The Orchestra
Just as a conductor directs and guides each section of the orchestra to create a unified harmony, in web development, it's essential to coordinate the efforts of a diverse and multidisciplinary team to achieve a cohesive and impactful result. From web designers, web developers, UX/UI specialists, to content managers, each member of the digital orchestra plays a unique and essential role in harmonizing the symphony. Ensuring harmonious collaboration among all team members, encouraging communication, idea sharing, and constructive feedback is essential. If each musician seeks to play their instrument without considering the whole and the common goal, the masterpiece will be nothing but chaotic noise without meaning or coherence and will fail to fulfill its purpose: to touch the lives of the audience.

The Composition and Score
In the digital symphony, the planning phase is a crucial moment where we define the main objectives that will lead us to the digital masterpiece. At this stage, defining clear goals and the project scope, as well as precisely identifying the target audience and devising a solid plan, are essential for the symphony's success. Just as the conductor guides the musicians on the interpretation and expression of a specific composer's work, in web development, a clear vision of the project must be conveyed. Thus, both in the orchestra and in the web development team, it is fundamental to ensure that members are aligned with the project's objectives and vision to achieve the best possible result.

Rehearsals, Evaluations, and Testing
Just as orchestral musicians refine the piece during rehearsals, when it comes to website development, testing, corrections, and iterations play an equally fundamental role. During rehearsals, it is essential to make revisions, receive feedback, and make numerous adjustments to improve the website's outcome. The repetition of tests, trial and error, and careful corrections by each team member are the keys to the project's success as a whole.

During rehearsals, the conductor's attention is on the detail and performance of each part of their orchestra so that the final version of the whole, i.e., the version presented to the public, is the best possible. In the case of orchestras, musicians must adapt and respond to the conductor's guidance, just as in the development of a project, each team member is flexible and quick to adjust their approach as necessary to overcome challenges and achieve the best result.

Reinventing the Initial Harmony
Just as a musician steps onto the grand stage, those involved in website development understand the importance of reinventing harmony, in a sense. It is this harmony that ensures continuous and effective performance in the various "performances" that the website will face over time.

Just as the original musical work developed by a composer undergoes a process of reinvention over time, the same should also happen with a website. On the digital stage, the conductor must choose to make small adjustments and modernizations to the works to keep them current and relevant.

Reinventing the initial harmony of a website may involve introducing new features, refreshing the design to make it more modern and appealing, or updating technology. It is this process of adaptation and renewal that ensures the website continues to captivate its target audience. 

Just as conducting an orchestra, the process behind web development is a true art that requires leadership, coordination, and constant adaptation. It seems interesting to me to aspire to this pursuit of excellence and harmony, just as the conductor aspires with each performance he brings to the public.

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