Software development joy? It IS possible!

December 6, 2012 David Suydam

 

We talk a lot about Creating Software Joy.™ Early on, what this meant to us centered around the end product – a great user experience, working software that does something needed, a solid business process, and so on. We knew that great software development takes a customer first approach, embracing innovation and experimentation, applying Agile methodologies where appropriate, validated learning and Lean thinking, and being able to release a top quality product on demand.

 

Over the years we’ve learned that software joy is not just about creating a great software application – it’s also the journey taken to get there.

The experience can be just as important as the end product

I’ve been fortunate to be able to build a custom home recently, essentially turning an old, single-story farmhouse into a two-story midcentury modern-style home. I chose a reputable general contractor and embarked on a completely new experience, having never personally done this before. Ten months later, while the end product is a beautiful home that my family and I will enjoy for years to come, I can’t say I’ve experienced “House Joy”.

Does this sound familiar?

  • Over budget
  • Late delivery
  • Lack of a clear plan
  • Lack of “common sense”
  • Quality problems
  • Changing requirements as more is learned
  • Discovering dependencies late that hijack timelines
  • Project staff that don’t really seem to care

I won’t get into all the details (call me for a beer, I’m happy to share). Despite a very nice end product, I most definitely would not recommend this vendor. I’m left wishing I had chosen differently, wishing they had been a professional, “well-oiled machine.” But how would I have even known this up front?

A great software development experience is possible

There is a new breed of companies that are delivering software applications in a significantly different way. As an example, consider this: if you leave Google Analytics running in your browser for a couple days, a little red box will typically appear at the top of the window telling you to reload because something has changed. Think about that for a minute – Google is changing the application so often, constantly tweaking things to continually drive more value, that they have a whole framework in place to ensure this can be done whenever they like. Contrast this with enterprise software projects that routinely take 6-18 months to push out to production. Google is doing it every few days, whenever they want.

How incredible would it be for you, as a product owner, to know that you can make a change and push it to production quickly with minimal effort and fuss? Or as a development manager knowing that your software is backed by exceptional quality, automated testing, and a flawless single-click deployment process. Or as an analyst or developer working in a cross-functional team with “the business”, able to understand what is required and why without weeks of meetings and signoff.

As I mentioned, we talk a lot about Creating Software Joy™, and to us this means both great software and a vastly improved process for building it.

We can create it. And we’ll show you how.

As Architech’s President, David’s focus on creative solutions is based on a strong belief that traditional software development practices are flawed, and his team routinely demonstrates a better approach with open source, Lean and Agile methods. Connect with David on Twitter or Linkedin.

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