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Custom Application Development

Clear away obstacles so that your developers can do their best

Using structure, culture and technology, Developer Experience minimizes the friction that slows productivity and undermines job satisfaction. In a red-hot labor market, this is a vital ingredient in the recipe to attract and retain the best software developers, and ultimately provide better solutions for customers, patients and citizens.

A constant challenge when developing new IT solutions, is to balance productivity with complexity, particularly in heavily regulated sectors such as public administration, food production or pharma. Already complex projects have the extra dimension of regulation, supervision and control. But high complexity and stricter regulation must never be allowed to stifle developers and their work.

The majority of employees just want to get on with their work and see the results of their efforts transformed into concrete value for the company. But if your developers are constantly interrupted by manual configurations, time-consuming tests, or unnecessarily complex processes, their quality, motivation and job satisfaction could soon become drained.  That can mean that your organization becomes inefficient and it becomes hard to recruit and retain valuable talent.

Inefficient processes rub off on the bottom line

Besides frustrated developers, this friction in work can also directly rub off on the bottom line, with declining efficiency, poor exploitation of resources and impaired solution quality.

So there is good reason to make sure that your software developers have the best conditions for technical creativity and work flow. This is essential for attracting, motivating and maintaining the brightest and most talented developers and, ultimately, creating the best solutions.

This is where Developer Experience comes into play.

What is Developer Experience?

In brief, Developer Experience (DX) is about making coding work as easy and as smooth as possible.

Technology choices obviously play a key role in creating a good DX. But platforms and systems are merely a single piece of code in the overall application. The positive DX is influenced by a multitude of other factors, such as having simple and uniform processes and a strong work culture.

Therefore, the key to DX is the interplay between technology, culture and work processes. This requires deep insight into all three areas as well as the sector your business operates in. Especially if the sector is highly regulated.

Let developers help from day 1

High complexity is just a way of life for people working on IT solutions in a regulated sector. This means that onboarding new developers can be hugely time-demanding, particularly on large projects with many stakeholders.

However, it is costly for business and a bad experience for developers if onboarding becomes so burdensome and time-consuming that even senior developers take weeks or even months before they can contribute their competences fully.

A key component in DX is therefore to ensure rapid onboarding, activation of tools and release of code.   This demands a high degree of automation, for example, regardless of whether you are onboarding one developer or 10. In an ideal world this will follow the same streamlined procedure, in which automated scripts take over manual processes so that the developer can start coding immediately.

Efficient onboarding means that developers can quickly see the specific business value generated by solutions. This makes work more motivating and meaningful, and it provides faster business feedback, thereby making it possible to adjust and optimize rapidly.

DX v. DevOps - What is the difference?

At NNIT, we have seen many companies equate DevOps with DX.  But even though the two methods (or work philosophies) do resemble each other, there is a difference.

DevOps is a combination of Development and Operations, and entails breaking down silos and making the path from system roll-out to operation more flexible. DevOps is very much about creating iterative and agile development processes to make it easy to go from coding to production as often as you wish, for example.

The similarities are evident, but DX is about more than optimizing processes and releasing cycles. In DX, the developer takes center stage. Focus is on combining processes, workflows and technologies to create the best framework for developers, so that they thrive and are released to do what they are passionate about (code solutions) by removing unnecessary noise and friction around them. This benefits both the developer and the bottom line.

DX paves the way for container technology

The Cloud has changed the way in which we develop software and it has made containerization a valuable tool in the IT toolbox. Being able to “package” applications, configurations and other dependencies in containers that are easy to move around in the Cloud has become a crucial element in simplifying infrastructure and making it more agile. In other words, container technology makes software development extremely efficient, flexible and scalable.

Although it sounds simple, working with containerization in practice is a complex matter. This is where DX has great potential. Continuing with the packaging terminology, we can say that DX is a way to package up containerization so that it is much easier for software developers to work on the containers efficiently.

How we can help you with DX

Do all software developers need DX? Not necessarily. Small development teams of two-three persons, for example will find it easy to talk together across a table, but on large projects with 100+ developers, everyone has to work according to a set of clearly defined and uniform processes.

The larger the projects and teams, the greater the need for DX.

NNIT has been working with both DevOps and DX for many years. They are the backbone in our business, and the way we work. Both internally and for our customers. Both when we are responsible for supplying finished solutions, and when we build technical foundations for our customers’ developers to code.

The good Developer Experience does not just spring up from one day to the other. It requires that both technology and processes are molded into the culture, and that it is a management priority. At NNIT, we know what’s needed, because we take our own medicine. That’s your guarantee that we can help your organization to get both the best developers and the best solutions with Developer Experience.