The Portuguese, besides having some fantastic idioms, have an interesting cultural quirk that makes navigating their country as a foreigner particularly difficult. They will always, without fail, respond to your questions with a literal answer, and will never actually tell you what you actually want to know. Ask a man if that door over there leads to the fire escape, and if it does not, he will answer “no” and then proceed directly to the door that does, leaving you to die engulfed in flames.
Working with software engineers is not quite this difficult, or (barring certain industries, like medical devices and air traffic control) potentially life-threatening. But it can be equally frustrating, if not more so. If you are a project manager, client, business developer, sales rep, recruiter, or belong to any other profession that regularly deals with them, you have your work cut out for you. What follows is my gift to you: a primer on working with software engineers for the everyman with no iPad and little understanding of what they do.