DevOps and Automation: Improving the Software Development Workforce

The demand for software engineering talent has never been greater in the technology industry. As the global economy continues to shift towards services and applications, all industries face crisis when it comes to rapidly delivering new tools and capabilities to an insatiable and ever-growing user base. expansion.

This means that companies of all sizes must gain every possible competitive advantage in the search for new development skills. This doesn’t just mean focusing on salaries and benefits; it means providing the kind of work environments that reward exception and enable high levels of job satisfaction and personal growth.

Boom in software development jobs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in software development and engineering is expected to grow 22% over the next decade, nearly three times the overall growth rate of the industry. use. That’s nearly 190,000 software and engineering openings per year, many of which were needed to fill jobs lost due to attrition, retirement and other factors.

Yet many organizations struggle to hire and retain qualified developers. A recent survey by CodinGame and CoderPad revealed that nearly half of recruiters identified the lack of suitable candidates as their biggest challenge. Identifying potential candidates, even if they lack certain skills, has moved from the eighth concern to the second. This is despite the fact that, according to another Stack Overflow survey, 75% of developers are actively looking for a new job or are at least open to new opportunities.

To find and retain the best people, organizations need to focus on and address the top causes of job dissatisfaction within the development community. Although salaries figure prominently in this equation, they are not the only factor. Equally important are all the difficulties inherent in the process of delivering good code, ranging from tweaks and changes to completed work, as well as unplanned work and unforeseen problems.

In addition, there are organizational issues, such as lack of direction from superiors, inadequate technical knowledge and lack of appropriate tools. Additionally, the disconnect between development and testing that exists in many organizations leads to frustration. A recent GitLab survey revealed that testing was by far the biggest cause of delays in the release process.

To address these issues, the business must adopt agile frameworks built around DevOps and automation. By showing potential candidates that they are “best in class” in their approach to development and agile programming, organizations demonstrate that they are at the forefront of their respective fields and provide a forward-looking work environment. future that values ​​both the end product and the workers who create it.

Agile improvement

Agile development has already shown how it can alleviate the problems that developers find most frustrating. On the one hand, agile provides a structure and methodology that solves the problems of unclear directions and unrealistic timelines. When applied correctly, it can set clear and achievable goals that can usually be achieved in a week or two.

When it comes to testing, automation has the ability to catch bugs early in the development process, when they can most easily be fixed. This allows organizations to adopt a “left shift” testing strategy so that it becomes an integrated part of the development process, and not a separate, disruptive process on its own.

Ultimately, automation’s ability to take on much of the tedious work of the DevOps process frees up developers’ time to do what they do best – creating new tools and functions – rather than wading through lines. of code looking for bugs. Likewise, they can devote more time to training, certification and other forms of personal and professional development, improving the quality of their work and increasing their value to the company. And with fewer last-minute crises to manage, developers can enjoy a better work-life balance, which many studies show increases productivity in the workplace.

No matter how smart or automated the business is, the workforce will remain the core asset of any business model. An agile environment that incorporates automated testing enables technology to dramatically improve the value of human activity, which in development circles means less time to make low-level fixes, fewer delays causing cost overruns and avoiding long days and late nights for development. teams.

Improved work environment

A more streamlined work environment leads to better job satisfaction, increased opportunities for development and advancement, and greater flexibility to allow employees to pursue the things that interest them, not just what is necessary to earn a paycheck.

Any digital organization, regardless of size or industry, should be moving towards an agile DevOps environment at this point. Truly a win-win, it helps the company and the workforce become better at what they do. This is exactly the type of environment a developer is more likely to stay in and a rookie is more likely to join: plenty of time to do meaningful work, opportunities to advance their skills, and chances to grow. have a real and lasting impact on the success of the company.

Gordon K. Morehouse