Building Software Today: Design Thinking, Hybrid Teams, and of course DevOps

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Design teams and software development teams don’t always work in the same room. These days it’s more appropriate to work in the same virtual space. But in an age where users and customers have so many digital options available, your application should be elegant, easy to use, and preferably discreet.

The increasing integration of design and development is just one of many changes shaping the software world. Being part of a software team means collaborating with others in a hybrid way to build smaller chunks of functionality than ever before.

Those are the words of Cisco CIO and former IBM CIO Fletcher Previn, who redesigned his company’s software operations in the wake of COVID.

Also: 20 IT trends CIOs need to be aware of and plan for

“I created and built a design team within IT to lead the user experience and outcomes. We do the engineering behind the user, not IT,” says the company. said in an interview at the New York office of “Every minute that people spend struggling with something is a distraction from the job they are hired for. I am able to do the work of

For many companies, until recently, having a design and experience team working directly with developers “was a very novel concept, first thinking development through the lens of experience and then thinking solutions.” added Previn. “But we have no tolerance for awkward bad experiences. The goal is to ensure that people subconsciously surround themselves with what they need. The goal is to enable hybrid work, right — security, remote access, ways of working, culture.”

The design community is often a completely separate community from IT, but Previn believes the two professionals need to work more closely together in an agile way. “When the UX team designs and researches the content for the project, the results are good,” he says. “The urgency of the design team’s involvement is of the highest urgency,” he adds, when it comes to “high-value interactions that we want to get right.”

Also: User experience: not about the user, not the actual experience

Design thinking is just one of many important transformations taking place in software development today. We’re moving from thinking about coding to assembling pre-built components.

Applications themselves are being broken down into smaller and smaller components, from APIs to clouds to containers to microservices, Previn says. “We want to ensure portability, containerization, and manageability in a consistent way across environments, so we don’t need to know what environment an application is running in. We have a common architecture for applications that we see in many companies. Many One of them is subdivided and split into smaller pieces.” For example, he says:

Hybrid work with cross-regional teams has come to define software work as well. Remote work offers productivity and adoption benefits, but it also requires closer collaboration, Previn said. “I would have said in February 2020 that solidarity between Agile Scrum teams collaborating on some kind of xOps and teams collaborating on something is important.” No more face-to-face collaboration. However, that sense of unity must be maintained. “Moving work around the world is fine, but fragmenting teams is a problem.”

For example, he said: “It is still important to have some degree of co-location plus or minus three hours per time zone. It is difficult to have some DevOps ceremonies at 8am for me and 11pm for you. Email and other things. I want to do some of these rituals when building software. I don’t need to be in the same room, but I really don’t want it. Someone with more than that.”

Also: Companies need DevOps to stay competitive, but must follow best practices to minimize risk

Team cohesion, whether staffed or outsourced, local or in a distant time zone, Previn believes is very important for software projects. “It’s fine to have a team on the other side of the world, but we don’t want to divide that team. And if it’s outsourced, we want it to work the same way we work.” I want it to be the same interpretation of agile, forming intact agile teams and not having this revolving door of team formation and non-formation.”

Talents that Previn sees in high demand right now include not only “people who are savvy with Agile and DevOps,” but also cybersecurity. Designers are also urged to include UX, UI, content analysis, and research. But above all, “we’re looking for people who are kind, passionate about their craft, and who believe in our purpose as an organization. Surround yourself with people like that and you’ll be successful.” ”


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