Developing The Developers: Managing Your Software Development Team And Expanding Their Skillset

Software development can be an arduous task full of unique challenges. The team of developers and engineers you have are your most crucial resource. Without them, the work will not be completed. You have a duty to your team to develop and expand their skill set. This not only improves the final product but also helps you build an adaptive and reflexive team that can take on any challenge during the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Developing your software developers is a gift that can keep on giving. With each project, they gain new talents that you can utilize to create stronger products in less time, creating value for your company and your customers. Here are a few ways for any software development manager to expand their team’s skillset and manage their team more effectively.

Introduce Continuous DevSecOps

The security of software is traditionally tested at the end of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). This means that many software developers have very little experience in software security tasks such as fuzz testing. By using DevSecOps during the development process you get a better product in less time, and you develop your team by giving them a new and highly valued skill. This benefits your company and benefits your developers.

Check out this guide to fuzz testing from ForAllSecure. Their open-source software can be used at every stage of the SDLC by every member of the team, expanding their skillset while also producing a more secure product in less time.

This is a win-win for any software development business. Software security gets addressed at every stage of development, rather than when the bulk of the work has been completed. This makes issues easier to address without disrupting or corrupting other areas of the software. In every endeavor, time is money. Saving time with DevSecOps is good for the budget as well as your team’s skillset.

Make Teams Smaller

Software developers and engineers can get overwhelmed easily. Putting too much on their plate and giving them long-term tasks can lead to bottlenecks, and put them in crunch mode when deadlines appear on the horizon. By splitting tasks and teams into smaller chunks, everything becomes more manageable. It is better from a managerial perspective as small teams are simple and easier to organize and manage, and from a developer’s standpoint, it becomes easier to focus on tasks.

When you work with smaller teams there is less micro-management, freeing you up to take a more macro-management approach. You focus on the bigger picture, and your smaller teams each represent a piece of the puzzle that you put together.

Shorter deadlines help workers to focus, and by monitoring their progress you can manage workflow and workload more effectively, spreading the stress and strain across a broader set of teams. Smaller teams are also easier to develop, and any time spent training and explaining only affects one element of development rather than the whole project, reducing costs.

Create A Development Roadmap

Planning and preparation are the keys to success. Without having a clear idea of where you are going and how to get there, your destination is a failure. By having a clear roadmap to product completion before you begin, the whole development team can see where they are going and understand the part they have to play in the project.

Milestones can be set with achievable deadlines. This splits up the task and creates opportunities for teams to enjoy a sense of achievement and success without having to wait for the whole project to be completed.

These small wins help encourage your team, maintain their focus, and keep the project moving. Momentum is incredibly important in software development, and knowing where you are going helps to keep people focused and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be completed.

This can also help team members to develop crucial skills like personal time management and delegation. They can distribute tasks amongst themselves and work to each other’s strengths and avoid one another’s weaknesses. With a clear roadmap in front of them, teams are more likely to manage their workflow themselves, giving you more time to concentrate on the bigger picture.

Make Communication Easier

Whatever the endeavor, communication is the key to success. There is a wide range of tools available that can help foster a collaborative work environment and encourage communication across development teams. This can help speed up many processes, including testing.

Communication across teams can lead to valuable and time-saving insights, and help team members develop new skills. A member of one team may have previous work experiences that can be helpful to another. Set up chatrooms and groups that encourage cross-communication and group problem-solving.

One of the most popular business apps is Slack, which makes setting up ad-hoc chats and meeting easy. It makes text, audio, and video conferencing easy, and helps create a collaborative work environment between workers and teams that may be separated or working remotely. This type of app gives your workers the best of both worlds.

They can be working independently, but with a few clicks enter a group working environment where people can join together to find workable solutions to complex problems. This can also help software developers expand their social and collaborative skills, which can be valuable to both their personal and professional lives.

By utilizing some of these ideas you can build a stronger team that can adapt and react to challenges more effectively and more quickly. The software industry is incredibly competitive, and you have a duty to your business, shareholders, and stakeholders to invest in the human infrastructure of your business as well as the hardware.

The benefits of doing this are immediately obvious, as you will begin to meet deadlines ahead of time and be able to accomplish more development tasks without having to increase the size of your team or your labor expenses. Become stronger, faster, and better with these team development tips.

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