The Top Three Software Development Challenges in 2020

Technology has become one of the most essential aspects of our everyday life. Every business has evolved with the advancement in software development. Trends in software development directly affect business operations and allow businesses to cope with the ever-growing challenges of the industry. Let’s evaluate some of the recent software development challenges organizations worldwide are facing as we head into the new decade so that engineering managers can optimize their efforts accordingly.

Development Capacity Challenge

Development Capacity

Engineering managers face a dilemma of how to manage business requirements with the developers’ availability. The never-ending requirements of a project create a huge backlog of work that can sometimes overwhelm the developers and may slump their productivity. Firstly, as a manager, you should execute an agile framework of the projects. Secondly, you should be able to prioritize business requirements and your team’s well-being equally. For this, you have to balance the client’s requirements and the team’s capacity to fulfill those requests in an efficient manner.

Neither you want to be so accommodating towards all the customer’s requirements that your team gets exhausted and may decide to leave you, nor do you want to reject the client’s requirements to protect your team. In this way, your team may feel unproductive. Try to find a perfect mix between external requirements and the internal operational ability of your team. The best way to deal with this challenge is to apply the “Rent Focus” theory. It states that you should sometimes allow developers to work on something creative which intrigues them but may not add value to the business. Doing so can help you rent their focus on projects that are tedious but valuable for business.

Knowledge Sharing Challenge

Knowledge Sharing

Sharing knowledge internally is a challenge that both managers and developers face. It’s really important for you to listen or read technical information multiple times to get that registered in the mind. Most of the managers don’t feel the need to repeat information to their team and mentor them constantly. This knowledge flow barrier causes a lot of trouble when the deliverables do not meet the customer’s requirements.

The best way to disseminate knowledge and communicate effectively with your team is through writing and making documentation for your developers. But the paradox here is that many people are not into reading. As a manager, you need to be proactive and find ways to share your knowledge with your development team. You can try to develop robust mentoring and leading programs for your team. For mentoring them with code writing and project-specific knowledge, Pair programming and code review techniques can help you overcome information flow challenges.

Recruiting Challenge

Recruiting Challenge

To hunt a good software engineer who is the best match for your company is a tough job. Most of the software development companies try to make their screening process really difficult to select the best out of the talent pool. For this many tech companies try to follow the screening process of bigger companies like Google. They completely ignore the fact that this process may not be suitable for their business. Their screening process just focuses on the technical knowledge (hard skills) of the engineers and neglects soft skills aka “core skills”. According to the state of software development report, 2020 willingness to learn and cultural fit (soft skills) are the top evaluating factors that the tech companies are now considering in engineering candidates.

It’s high time for you as managers to equally prioritize clients’ requests and developers’ available time. Start molding your screening process. Evaluate soft skills critically when hiring people. You may ask the candidate to share some examples of how they communicated with clients regarding their software development questions. You may also ask questions related to colleagues’ empathy. Writing good code can be taught but teaching your engineers how to collaborate and communicate with team members and clients is a personal ability that can’t be taught.

Key Takeaway

  • To eliminate capacity challenges at work you need to prioritize clients and developers values equally
  • Foster an environment for effective knowledge sharing through robust mentoring and leading programs
  • Critically evaluate soft skills when adding people in your team

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