Having worked alongside thousands of software developers at Fortune 500 companies worldwide, one thing is sure: every organization does software development differently. Why? Developers aren’t paid for working within the ideal development cycle, but for solving a business problem. In today’s development world, success is measured by the resiliency and flexibility the cycle can withstand against larger business initiatives.
In this post I’d like to explore with you the latest trends and advances hitting developers—and address the business strategy behind the tricks of the trade that every developer must address.
The Development Cycle: Set Yourself Up for Success
With increasing competitive pressure to be innovative, developers find responsibility not only for efficient software releases, but also for bridging the gap from their role to business strategy. The question is, where do you begin fitting this into the development cycle?
The answer is simple: start from the start (planning). From open source software libraries and cloud services, to internal web applications and commercial software—the most critical part of the development cycle is planning. Your company has end-result expectations. Development management and operations alike must know the company’s industry landscape: the pace of innovation, competitors, end-user characteristics, regulation, and standards. Knowing what you’re up against dictates the development cycle, and it’ll make a huge impact on end-result outlooks. Get your industry landscape knowledge in-check, and take the reins on end-results.
Your Tool Box: Integration and Customization
We know too well that all the right tools and codes can be implemented and ready for deployment, but before the cycle passes finish, we’re forced to restart. To top that off, our timelines are often untouched. Any pivot in business strategy often directly impacts software developers—from change requests, to competitor movement, third-party requirements (i.e. legal), and more.
The ability to endure business shifts isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s about finding the right solutions to layer with customization. Your development cycle will shine brightest with a unique mix of build tools, module systems, build servers and version control systems. Efficiency can only be met if each tool allows for flexibility, integration and scalability. These characters will allow for changes on-the-fly and support plug-ins for customization—from one project to another and for each unique project in itself.
Software Discovery: Avoiding Forced Re-Design
After deployment comes maintenance, that fun part of the development cycle that makes this cycle virtually endless (contradictory? Hey, it’s an industry-term). Timely and accurate updates to address newly discovered faults or requirements are imperative, so as to avoid software re-design. Keeping in mind that all companies strive for cost- and time-efficiency, the key is automation and organization. Automate your delivery cycle, apply regulations and checks, and provide your corporate users with better experience. Here are some samples and community contributed plugins to ignite your imagination.
After all, software developers know best that while hundreds of software releases a day might go unnoticed, they certainly keep business running smoothly.
Developers who are biz-savvy achieve the most success when it comes to professional development and advancing their skill set. So get out there and find your ever-changing mix of tools to combine with a unique development cycle. But always remember, the ideal software development tool is a, one-of-a-kind solution layered with a business-minded strategy.
Shlomi Ben-Haim is CEO at JFrog, the company changing the way developers’ code
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