Developer laziness leads to productivity

I've recently been reminded of how important automation can be.

How important it can be to the productivity of an individual and organisation.

I was adding some automated tests to a product for a client of mine.

The tests would, whenever the product was changes, automatically run through a number of validation tests.

While obviously there was investment in my time to produce the tests, they could be used over and over again.

They provided a safety net to know if we'd unexpectedly changed something which then broken the system.

For the investment in those tests, they could be run over and over again with very little further effort.

And this speaks to the heart of a general developer philosophy of being lazy.

I use the term lazy rather tongue in cheek as I actually mean it as a positive term.

A lazy developer will not want to repeatably do the same task over and over again.

They are problem solvers.

They want new and exciting problems to solve.

So if faced with the same problem over and over, the developer instinct will be to automated it.

We touched on this during my podcast episodes 19-21 where I covered Continuous Integration, Deployment and Delivery.

These processes come out of developer frustration of having to do the same boring tasks over and over again.

So rather than keep doing it; those chose to automate them.

And while it saved those original developers from having to repeat those boring tasks, we now benefit from those first steps.

Not just in saving our developers from doing many of those tasks.

But from those tasks being more repeatable, more reliable - less human mistakes.

We have auditable logs of those actions having taken place. We can see the automated system has carried them out - along with the outcome.

We aren't relying on a sleepy developer in the middle of the night correctly following a checklist AND correctly recording the steps they made for audit.

And this same "lazy" attitude can be seen throughout the entirely of Software Development.

Software Developers will seek to automate those problems away so they can get to the good problem solving.

Be that automation of testing, deployment or countless other things.

If you find your developers are repeatedly doing the same tasks over and over again, then encourage them to look how to automate it away.

It will be better for productivity.

#62: Bad for ROI: The Gantt Chart

Gantt Charts are a popular tool for visualising dependencies for complex activities.

In this episode I discuss why the use of Gantt Charts are bad for ROI in Software Development.

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Free Software Development Consultancy

I'd like to invite you to join the new Better ROI from Software Development LinkedIn Group

I've created the group because I believe;

  1. Every business today is a technology business
  2. At some point every business will rely on Software Development
  3. Software Development, when done well, will materially affect business outcomes
  4. Software Development can be a complex and expensive to do well
  5. There wasn't a forum for business leaders to get help

And this is what the group is aiming to resolve.

Whatever ROI means to you and your business, I want the group to provide advice to any and all questions you may have related to achieving it through Software Development.

Anyone is welcome to join the group; but it is primarily aimed at those that invest in Software Development (C-level) and those that help them to achieve the best outcomes (IT Management).

So whether your organisation has its own mobile apps, extensive line of business systems or just a simple promotional website - I look forward to your questions.

Stay safe.

About the author:

Mark Taylor is an experience IT Consultant passionate about helping his clients get better ROI from their Software Development.

He has over 20 years Software Development experience - over 15 of those leading teams. He has experience in a wide variety of technologies and holds certification in Microsoft Development and Scrum.

He operates through Red Folder Consultancy Ltd.