As a software development company, you always look for ways to increase efficiency and get products out the door faster. This is where developer velocity comes in. But what is developer velocity? And can it help or hurt your business? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Developer Velocity?
Developer velocity measures the speed at which developers can work on new features and functionality. The goal is to release new features and functionality quickly without sacrificing quality. Several factors can impact developer velocity, such as the number of developers on a team, the development process, and the tools used.
McKinsey & Company’s surveys and research have found that there are four key ways to boost developer velocity:
- Investing in the right tools
- Cultivating a strong culture of collaboration
- Optimizing product management systems
- Using effective talent-management strategies
To maximize developer velocity, you should empower individual developers to create more value faster. Anticipate what tools and resources developers need while aligning investments with customer needs. Additionally, reduce any obstacles that may impede productivity.
How Developer Velocity Helps Your Business
There are a few critical ways that developer velocity can help your business. The first is that it can help you get products to market faster. Time to market is essential to the software industry. The sooner you can get your product out the door, the better.
Increasing developer velocity can also help you respond more quickly to customer needs and feedback. Customers’ needs constantly change, and rapidly adapting is critical.
Finally, increased developer velocity can help you take advantage of opportunities. If you are not moving fast enough, your competitors can take advantage of those opportunities before you do.
How Developer Velocity Can Hurt Your Business
While increasing developer velocity can be excellent for your business, it’s essential to be careful and focus on items other than velocity metrics. This is because measuring velocity can be abused and have many negative consequences.
First, it can create a sense of pressure and anxiety for developers, who may feel like they need to work faster to meet targets. This pressure can lead to errors and poor-quality code. Second, measuring developer velocity can also lead to a feeling of competition among team members, damaging morale and fostering mistrust. Finally, focusing on developer velocity can take attention away from other essential aspects of the software development process, such as code quality and customer satisfaction.
While measuring developer velocity can be helpful in some ways, it is vital to know the potential downsides before implementing such a system.
The Bottom Line
As with anything in life, moderation is key. You want to balance moving fast and maintaining quality in the process. To accomplish this, provide the right tools, foster a collaborative culture, have effective product management processes, and hire and retain the right talent. In addition, set aside time for code review so mistakes can be caught and fixed before they cause significant problems. By striking the right balance between speed and quality, you’ll reap all of the benefits of increasing developer velocity without running into any pitfalls.