The world of software development is a fast paced and ever changing landscape.
Developers want to work on exciting things. New tools, languages, frameworks and innovations are constantly emerging and revolutionizing the industry.
So, are you taking advantage of these software development trends that will help you ship great software applications with greater speed, efficiency and accuracy?
The rise of ChatOps to automate manual tasks
The extraordinary growth of Slack, shook up the chat application industry and gave it a whole new lease of life. This has led to more and more companies adopting team chat applications to assist in conducting key business operations, including the building and shipping software applications.
Interacting with your team members using a chat application is only scratching the surface of what these tools can do for fast paced organizations. Automated bots, powerful integrations and workflow tools, all help teams ship software with greater ease and efficiency.
Bots have turned traditional automation via scripting on its head (e.g. a system administrator with a deployment script) – and moved this to a shared command / control infrastructure.
People don’t need access to production environments directly if it is managed through a centralized bot. If the bot has the necessary permissions, anyone on the team can deploy their code using the right commands. New team members can be up and running within minutes rather than hours and user permissions become encapsulated by the bot itself.
Ultimately, bots can create common and consistent workflows. They are reliable servants to your team’s commands and reduce the overheads and complexities human involvement can bring.
Things such as build status, deployment status, commits and merges in source control can all be given visibility to everyone on your team instantly.
Constant visibility within your team ensures there is no confusion as to the status of any particular task along the software development production line. Even real time error notifications can be made visible right within your team chat.
No longer will you be exposed to human error, but you’ll also not need to employ a human’s time to move things forward. You can essentially put an end to error-prone hand-typed SQL statements or automate tests around repeated commands.
Managers that see chat applications as a productivity killer, likely don’t know the range of productivity benefits they can bring to developer teams.
Using software intelligence to find problems before users do
The world’s most innovative software companies are now adopting software intelligence tools to focus on resolving issues that are affecting their customers directly.
Rather than simply monitoring their software team’s dashboards for effects on high level trends, teams are starting to realize they can take advantage of a deeper level of insights into their software’s faults.
Traditional application performance monitoring tools (APM) are commonplace in enterprise level organizations. The next generation of monitoring tools are allowing teams to dig even deeper into the true experience of end users.
Software intelligence gives you the ability to automatically detect when a user’s experience was poor and how you can improve it, with full diagnostic details being provided for every individual user error, crash or performance issue.
Consolidating all of your monitoring into one software intelligence platform allows you to merge things like performance data with error and crash reporting data to figure out where problems are stemming from, or view a full user session and what actions were taken before an error occurred.
Because data is combined, rather than siloed between products and teams, the level of insight you can obtain into your applications is truly ground-breaking.
Teams are now offered the power to resolve issues with greater speed and accuracy, creating perfect software experiences for their customers and replicating any software bugs or crashes they have experienced with ease.
This not only creates healthier software, the ROI for this level of tooling is profound, with teams able to spend less time digging through logs for answers and more time shipping new features.
Software intelligence allows you to pinpoint the root causes of issues that are affecting your customers, gaining deeper insights into software health than you ever had before.
Thanks to software intelligence, application monitoring has reached a new level, and your customers will thank you for it.
Safely deploying your code multiple times per day
Long gone are the days of the ‘big bang’ release. Even tech giants such as Microsoft have ditched gigantic release cycles and opted for smaller, consistent streams of updates to the core Windows OS.
Continuous deployment aims to minimize the time between writing new code and getting it into the hands of your users in production environments. This is largely done using infrastructure that automates the various steps leading up to releasing software into the wild.
When these tests are successful, the live application that users are interacting with is updated with the new code changes. If tests fail, human intervention can be made to fix the issue promptly or roll back to previous versions.
Using these tools, teams now have the ability to ship consistently and safely multiple times per day. Amazon has successfully removed the bottleneck for manual deployments and manages to release code every few seconds.
If your team are working towards big scary release days and deadlines, without a full view of the impacts over releases, perhaps it’s time you considered moving your model over to continuous deployment.
Continuous deployment isn’t hard if you have the right people, processes and tools in place.
Every change made to your code that passes automated tests can be deployed to production automatically. All without the fear that end users are going to encounter broken features and functionality.
With a multitude of tools now available, moving to a continuous deployment model has never been easier.
Over to you
So how did you score? Which of these trends have your development team already implemented within your own organization? What software development trends do you think will take off over the next few years?
The low barrier to entry for all of these tools and processes means developers are unshackling themselves from long and complex workflows and becoming increasingly efficient. The biggest barrier to adopting new innovations is the change in mindset and systems that have already been put in place.
For those that adopt these industry innovations, they look set to provide better ROI for their managers, enjoy faster release cycles and higher quality software than their counterparts.
So make sure you don’t get left behind.