Whilst I’ve never been a programmer myself, I’ve worked with developers on a lot of projects.
One key tip … if you hear a lot of typing, you can be sure they are on Facebook or Messenger! Rarely do developers write an application or a program from a blank screen – instead, they use bits and pieces of code from past work or libraries. Recently, this has been formalised even more with frameworks like Flex and Ruby on Rails, allowing functionality to be packaged and plugged in quickly, saving time and money.
Not only does this make business more efficient, but it usually cuts down errors as well, as other developers will have used the modules previously and corrected bugs.
Just one problem to be aware of: depending on the library, some developers may have different quality standards for the applications they write. One example is ASP Controls, which are great for functionality but usually fail to satisfy requirements for web standards.