The ‘Great Resignation’ is coming for software development

Rob Zuber, CTO of CircleCI, explains how organizations can navigate the ‘big resignation’ that might be defined during software development

It is essential that software development talents remain engaged and feel empowered by leadership.

The ‘Big Resignation’ is coming for your software development teams. With 38% in the United Kingdom and Ireland plan to change roles over the next six to twelve months, the potential impact on software developers could be much greater than in other industries.

The average cost of the outflow of potential talent per company is forecast at £ 10,076, and the overall potential cost of a talent brain drain to the UK and Irish economies is £ 17 billion.

We are in an age of software-based innovation, with software-based services that drastically influence the bottom line. Businesses are starting to understand that no matter what industry, product or service, they are a software company if at some point their relationship with customers goes through a screen. These types of projects rely on a combination of specialized technological talents among software developers, product managers, designers, engineers and others.

Knowing that this type of talent is difficult to acquire and expensive to maintain (but can work anywhere), how do you foster long-term employee happiness while attracting new talent? It starts with creating a collaborative work environment in which they enjoy and can thrive, an environment that prioritizes their productivity, efficiency and individual successes.

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Give developers the tools to make work look like play

Businesses of all sizes need to be strategic about using developer time. Why waste human resources and attention on tasks that can be done quickly and cheaply through automation?

The cost of a developer minute is around $ 1.65, and the cost of a computational minute to automate a once-manual process is around $ 0.006. Keep in mind the human cost of developers working on routine, low impact, uninspiring activities, and this is neither a good use of engineering skills, time or attention for a highly skilled person. to stay motivated.

Instead, automate basic building blocks as much as possible. Implement solutions that easily integrate with other tools or processes. Removing friction for onboarding new developers makes life simple. A simple life means developers innovate, not toil.

A good place to start if you haven’t already is with CI / CD. A reliable construction tool allows teams to automate their processes and practice good hygiene. That way, when systems get more complex, your business will have a foundation to manage them (you can thank me later).

Measuring the right things, including morale

Experienced software development managers and executives find that the most relevant and relevant metrics fall into three categories: speed, morale, and business metrics.

Engineering speed is about measuring software delivery pipelines. Of course, managers love them. Yet too much emphasis on engineering metrics alone, without considering the big picture, will serve to disconnect leadership and teams from overall goals and the most effective ways to achieve them.

  • Speed ​​metrics help teams identify slowdowns and optimize performance. Examples include: throughput, time to change, sprint speed, duration, average recovery time, and success rate.
  • Morale measures may seem rather optional in a results-oriented place of business. Not so. These show how engineering assesses the quality of work and happiness at work. It is clear that retention is a pretty important metric for businesses. High morale can lead to high retention rates. Items to measure include: morale of individuals and teams, and confidence in the quality of code.
  • Trade measures As the business grows, the funnel metrics and end user value obviously help show how the organization is succeeding. Keeping the pulse of the business in this way helps keep your technical teams happy. These metrics can inform your engineering teams and help them see where they fit. For example, in a fast growing business, engineering has to keep track of what to build, what degradation is expected, and what infrastructure needs to be put in place.

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Invest in a results-driven culture

Bringing developers closer to their customer and the challenges they help solve is what connects them to their employer. This means investing in solutions that bring software teams closer to the customer and breaking down barriers to foster a more collaborative atmosphere.

Empower them to become leaders as quickly as possible. Adjust your metrics of success by focusing on results rather than products. Engage your teams in the larger business goals of the company.

Giving more autonomy to technical teams may involve changing the structure and methodologies used, including the implementation of good code and development standards. This, when done effectively, requires good review and documentation.

For organizations operating at scale, a top-notch engineering team can be the difference between cap and market leadership. As skilled innovators propelling company growth and market leadership, software development teams are more than technical support and a chore. Their skills are scarce, and if they aren’t supported to do a great job, there’s not much to stop them from finding a better place to work. The one who has already taken the hard work out of their working day, allowing them to do their jobs the best and most engaging.

Written by Rob zuber, CTO of CircleCI


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Gordon K. Morehouse