Why software developers are the unsung heroes

To say that everyone faced challenges during the plague would be an understatement, and software developers were no different. Not only did the development teams have to ensure that they could fulfill their obligations remotely with minimal disruption, but the mass transition to online services caused by national lockout made developers work at full capacity.

This begs the question: to what extent is the C-suite adapted to the developers’ distress? And to what extent have the development teams been significant for the digital refurbishment that many organizations have undergone?

Providing vital support

Our study, which examined the opinions of 450 senior IT decision makers in the US, UK, France and Germany to find out the extent of their digital transformation challenges, found that C-suite greatly appreciates the role that developers have played over the past year.

With many organizations having to implement their five-year digital transformation plans within a few months, 92 percent of respondents agreed that developers provided more than a helping hand. As adaptation to new working methods and adaptation to rapid changes in markets have become the norm, it is not surprising that developers have been the heroes of this effort.

By demonstrating the flexibility to change their goals when needed, and channeling their resources to ‘keep the lights on’, it is clear that developers have played a key role in organizations’ response efforts to COVID-19.

Increasing dissatisfaction

However, while developers are an essential part of organizations’ digital transformation strategies, they are also under significant pressure. Developers have had to deal with a balance between the often stressful day-to-day job and providing innovation, all while moving to remote work. Combined with the increasing pressure on DevOps teams to put applications into production as quickly as possible, it is safe to say that developers are feeling the load.

Not surprisingly, then, when we asked what complaints their development teams had, 49 percent of organizations reported that developers were asked to do too much in too short a time. No business wants to be in this situation, which can easily end in stress, fatigue and burnout.

Even without an epidemic for navigation, having to do too little in too little time will lead to delays. And if the organization’s goals are ambitious in the first place, pushing development teams to the maximum will not lead to success. After a year where a quick response to unforeseen events was the norm, perhaps it is inevitable that development teams are lagging behind schedule with their current projects. However, this may be a problem of management as a capability, and should be fixed anyway to keep the wheels in motion.

The importance of setting clear goals

If organizations can not get the most out of their developers, progress will be halted and businesses will find themselves falling behind their competitors. Interestingly, despite so much riding on developers ’abilities to keep the gears, the same Couchbase survey found that 40 percent of respondents have difficulty setting clear and measurable goals for development teams.

While it goes without saying that equipping development teams with the right technology is essential to the success of DevOps, it is equally important to make sure that developers clearly understand the organization’s long-term strategic goals and objectives. Only in this way can teams truly identify and solve the challenges they face, and ensure that the skills and talents of the developers are activated in a way that will bring home the bacon in the long run.

It is also a win-win situation. Happy developers are equal to happy end users; Clearly addressing these challenges will help address many of the developers’ own complaints, and will help organizations get the most out of their teams.

The way forward

The key to solving these problems and reducing the pressure on developers is to give teams the communication, training and technology they need to succeed. This means removing from them the burden of old technology that is not suitable for the task, and no longer expecting them to immediately adapt to new technology. At the same time, organizations need to keep in mind that more haste equals less speed. Taking the time to clearly communicate with developers and understand exactly what they are contributing to the business, and the obstacles in their way, will make the team more efficient and effective.

This is especially important since, if at all, the value of the developers to the organization is undoubtedly increasing, with development teams growing by an average of 20 percent by 2020. Making this investment will be essential. While IT leaders may recognize and reward the vital work that investors develop, it is imperative that they do their best to support them in the times to come, starting with more effective communication to ensure that developers and the broad IT team work for the same goals. While the pressures associated with digital transformation will not go away, taking such steps will help ensure that all future bumps will be smoother.

Image by Jean-Philippe Delberg On Unsplash)

Looking to innovate your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about Digital Transformation Week An event taking place in Amsterdam on November 23-24, 2021 and discovering key strategies for the success of your digital endeavors.

Tags: covid-19, developers, development, organizations, epidemic, software

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