There are numerous considerations for companies hiring software developers or if you want to hire developers for startup projects. Things such as optimal software developer work environment, develop productivity metrics, senior software developer salary, and tools for developers are only some of them. You can follow the link to know more about how to hire developers for startup projects.
Knowing how to hire developers is a great first step, but also understanding what challenges can be encountered or factors that can impede progress and effectivity is also necessary. Below are some of the roadblocks for developers in the workplace.
Barriers to a Great Software Developer Work Environment
1. Meetings. Meetings. Meetings.
Catchup and progress update meetings are a great communication platform for managers and developers. But too many meetings where managers drone on and on about minutiae, higher-level progress, or the in-depth details of projects or development can be an ineffective use of time and resources for the team.
The same can be said for meetings where developers go in-depth on all bugs, issues, and fixes, technical problems. Too much time and resources spent on these types of meetings take away from developers being more productive and effective in their roles.
2. Progress Metrics
Ensuring that tasks and projects are measured through developer productivity metrics is great. To measure developer productivity can be the number of lines of code created, the number of commits to the code, bug fixes, or issues received and resolved.
But focusing on these metrics can lead to developers working to meet and exceed their record for these metrics. With this, developers tend to focus on creating more lines of code, fixing more bugs, or trying to meet these set metrics, leading to long files with over-engineered code.
3. Managing Technical Debts
Technical debts refer to work or code that needs fixing or improvement but are put aside to be done later due to certain limitations. Technical debts are inevitable, especially in time-bound and result-oriented projects.
However, the roadblock comes in when these technical debts pile up and become a lot more difficult to address or resolve. It may be easier and more effective for developers to just use existing problematic code and create improvements to the software as opposed to taking time to untangle and refine the problematic code.
4. Distracting Work Environment
A work environment that is open that anyone can come up to others and strike up a conversation or open a discussion is great.
But too much of these out-of-the-blue discussions can keep developers from their actual work and impede their productivity. Large amounts of traffic can also distract developers from focusing on their work.
5. Challenging Personalities
Developers themselves can be a roadblock to progress. Working with teams, challenging personalities and types of developers can impact the progress and effectiveness of the team and the project.
– The Self-absorbed
Do you know a developer that is fast in creating code, but leaves the debugging and troubleshooting to others? The code would work on initial tests but feed it actual data and it fails. This type of approach to coding causes a large number of delays and time spent on code reviews, troubleshooting, and debugging.
– The Uber Traditionalist
These developers are stuck on their heydays and keep on regaling and preaching on the strengths and advantages of their preferred technology and tools that are not as modern as they think. Discussions regarding which tools for developers are better can hold up meetings and brainstorming activities for the project.
– The Primadonna
These are the type of developers that despite acknowledging the effort of everyone on the team, sees themselves above the others and would need pampering. Managers would need to allocate more time listening and maybe addressing their complaints and putting more effort into ensuring this developer’s productivity.
6. Difficult Managers
– The Nontechnical Ones
These types of managers have no development experience or knowledge. They would be there and focusing on the high-level objectives or perspectives from other departments. Their presence can help provide an outside perspective but can also hinder by not being able to help or guide the development team.
– The Technical Ones
Technical managers are those that have developer experience and can hold up meetings and gatherings by going into the details of issues, bugs, tools, or technical project scope. This causes delays in projects and can lead to managers micro-managing their development teams.
7. Extremes to Documentation
– The “I’ll Do It Later” Types
These types of software developers are those that do not give enough time to document their code or their progress. They focus on the code and its results and put documentation to the back burner. This tends to pile up and when the time comes to work on the documentation, it takes up too much time and resources for the team.
– The “I-Will-Write-a-Dissertation-About-This” Types
In contrast, these types of software developers are of the mid to spend so much time and detail into the documentation that it is no longer readable or takes up too much time and space in the code.
8. Managing Legacy Code
Managing legacy code becomes a challenge when developers are unfamiliar with the language or tools used to develop it.
Time and resources will have to be spent in training these developers on the legacy code, which reduces the time that they should be spending in managing or adapting it. Legacy codes can also be difficult to adapt, especially if they are of a different structure to what is currently being employed by the development team.
9. Want for Up-to-date Technology
The rapid evolution of technology requires developers and tech-focused companies to keep up with trends and technological development.
This may lead to frequent reviews of which tech and tools to use for the development or maintenance of software products. Constantly adapting the latest and up-to-date tools and versions can impede the progress of your developers because most of their time would be spent adjusting to the new development environment.
10. Uncoordinated developer teams
This is a problem encountered with mixing in-house development teams with offshore dedicated teams or just having developers that are not working in the same space.
Communication, progress updates, feedback, time zones, and cultures can become factors for reduced productivity and efficiency in the development team.
Overcoming Roadblocks to Software Developer Productivity
Establish a collaboration space
Open-plan spaces vs closed partitioned spaces have been debated as to which is the most conducive for productivity and effectiveness in the work environment.
In either case, establishing a space where developers can gather, discuss, and brainstorm ideas and projects is a great workspace addition. This stimulates creativity, encourages communication and group dynamics, and builds rapport amongst the team.
Culture and People
Effective communication leads to developers being able to discuss, exchange ideas, progress and feedback on their work, and be connected to the team.
Employing communication and collaboration software and tools streamlines communication and makes it accessible for developers anytime and anywhere.
These tools provide an accessible platform for communication and enable the team to save time and resources. Traditional tools such as meetings, conferences, and catch-ups are a great way of personal communication with the team.
Completing tasks is important but it is much more important to ensure the quality of the work. Moving from one task to another shifts your focus and does not help allocate the needed effort and attention that the task requires.
Reduce your multitasking and prioritize your tasks, then focus on the task at hand. You need not have identical priorities, but what is important is that your development team manages their tasks and their time the same as you.
Team collaboration leads to increased team productivity and the company saving time and resources. Collaboration strengthens communication, builds rapport among the team, and encourages creativity and critical thinking in the group.
Project ideas can also be had by collaborative efforts in the team. You can also utilize collaboration tools to make collaborative efforts and processes even more efficient.
Trust and work with your developers. Your developers should follow, or at least put to heart what was said by Steve Jobs on programmer productivity.
You as a manager should lead and be a guiding hand to your team, whether you have development background or not.