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Developer Productivity Report 2013 – How Engineering Tools & Practices Impact Software Quality & Delivery
Conclusions and Observations
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -Winston Churchill
Still no silver bullet
Sorry to break it to you, but there isn’t any single practice or tool that will be a true game changer for you when it comes to improving your software quality or predictability of delivery. Teams in general should focus on a) improving various work practices, b) using the best tools available, and c) continuously improving the nature of their organizational culture so that they can meet up with the rock stars hanging out in the top 10%.
Relation != Causation
We feel that it’s dangerous to think that some practice makes an organization better…it’s quite possible that it is the other way around: good organizations pick particular practices to follow! Still it’s a good reason to try it out and see for yourselves. Looking for direction? Trying following the rock stars and see if relation equals causation for you!
Test and measure
Trying different things is the key to improving your organization. However you need to pick your metrics carefully and measure the improvement or lack of such. Treat it as a scientific experiment and record results. The framework of quality and predictability is a great way to compare even different projects, and if you try one tool/practice at a time you can compare to the rest of the organization to see improvement or lack of such.
If you’re a toolmaker yourself, then you know this to be the case. Not only do good tools make you more productive, but they also serve as focal point on which you can enforce the practices that further improve your ability to predictably deliver quality software. If you’re on a tight budget, using free stuff is much better than using nothing, but there is a tendency among developers who purchase tools to fall in love with their new toys.
More specifically, it’s time to use Continuous Integration & Version Control if you haven’t started already. You’re waaaay behind the curve. And for you Java developers out there, check out JRebel and see if it makes such a big difference for you too :)
Note from the authors: This report took months of preparation and we appreciate your interest in our efforts. Share this with your colleagues and bosses. They’d probably like it too! We have a comments section below (use it), and you can ping us @ZeroTurnaround. Cheers, Jevgeni and Oliver
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