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The 21st century executive

6 things Tech leaders need to know about Software Developers

software developers

When it comes to creating software that adds value and delights clients, software developers are your star players. While the demand for software talent has been growing steadily, the supply of tech talent has not kept pace, leading to the developer shortage currently affecting the IT industry. This is one of the factors driving the so-called “talent war” in tech.

Developers matter

IT Operations and QA teams are integral to making high-quality software products, but their work depends on software developers’ technical abilities, creativity, and expertise.

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This makes good software developers invaluable assets.

That said, developers are like diamonds; sometimes they need to be polished to really shine. It’s always a good idea to know who your developers are and what they need to be at their best.

6 Things Software Developers want you to know

The global talent shortage is one of the major challenges facing tech and software businesses today. What can industry leaders do when developers are in such short supply?

The short answer: find out what devs want and give it to them.

Here are 6 tips to help you attract and retain great talent.

1.      Developers love DevOps

Almost 80% of developers today consider DevOps important in scalable software development. According to GitLab’s DevOps survey, DevOps has been a significant contributor to development efforts. 38% of respondents reported that their DevOps-based teams had stayed consistent even in the face of the global pandemic, and 23% had even expanded their teams.

You can learn more about how DevOps is creating faster, more functional development environments here.

2.      Learning is a top priority

Learning for work might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but the best software developers actively enjoy learning new things. For most tech businesses, what interests software developers usually makes them better at their craft.

Continuous learning is imperative for developers. New programming languages and tools get released every few months while existing languages and libraries update even more regularly. For devs to continue delivering high-quality work, they need time and support for learning.

3.      Meetings are killing productivity

Developers famously have a love/hate relationship with meetings. Many agree meetings are a “necessary evil” that keeps company culture open, transparent, and collaborative. Still, the fact remains that excessive meetings can be a quiet killer of developer productivity.

Programming may seem like a mechanical process, but it takes an astounding amount of focus, creativity, and attention. Developers need to be “in the zone” to be at their best. When juggling meetings with individual work commitments, deep thought can suffer, reducing their efficiency.

4.      Changing Requirements creates chaos

Creating software is a bit like building a house. Client requirements guide the project like building plans. Imagine if every few days the architect added some interesting new features to those plans or asked for changes to areas under construction. Changing requirements throughout the development process causes chaos. Even worse might be developing solutions with unclear requirements.

Agile and DevOps methodologies can mitigate some of the chaos by facilitating better client cooperation in development. With clients more involved, there’s better initial planning and management of expectations, while devs stay abreast of changes from the client-side. At the end of the day, clear, unchanging requirements make devs happy.

5.      Burnout from Poor Management

Work overload is one consequence of mismanagement. When team leads don’t mediate with business demands well, the resulting work lands on developers’ plates. Managers feeling the pressure from the business side may also transfer that pressure to devs via micromanagement.

Micromanagement is everyone’s pet peeve. For developers, a team lead or project manager blowing up their Slack or email inbox for project updates throughout the day can make work unbearable. This creates a toxic environment that contributes to burnout.

6.      Quality takes time

When devs are creating software, inspiration can strike like a thunderbolt. Mostly, though, it’s a slow, careful process. Regardless of whether they do it in a flurry of effort or over days of painstaking trial-and-error, devs need time to give their best work. Even then, code should be reviewed by their peers.

Code reviews can be a developer’s best friend for improving skills and detecting bugs early on. It also ensures better code quality. Consistently high-quality code can save your company money in the long run.

Developers and your bottom line

Great software developers create amazing software and are invaluable assets. They know the ins and outs of their programming tools and can leverage that knowledge to fulfill client needs efficiently. Experienced developers can formulate effective strategies for accomplishing work even when deadlines are tight. Attracting talent requires a deep understanding of what makes devs happy and the appropriate work cultures to support that.

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About the author
Alvaro Marinetto

Working as Foreworth’s, Development Director, Alvaro manages the day-to-day activities of the development team. He helps steer the direction of the company’s new feature development as well as their maintenance efforts.

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