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How To Improve Software Development Workflows

Your development workflow should align team members, maintain their engagement, and promote a balance between speed and quality of code modifications if you want to improve software quality.

By Joe HarkinsPublished 2 years ago 6 min read

Developers may generate and commit modifications to a shared codebase with the aid of development procedures. A development workflow, however, isn't just for show. It may significantly impact the productivity of your team and the standard of your product. Over time, our software development team refined a system that enables us to provide high-quality results with minimal effort. The developers generate better work as a result of their increased motivation and involvement. This post is a part of a series in which BJIT accomplished fruitful outcomes while completing the software development workflow.

Software development workflow: What can a tried-and-true collaborative software development approach accomplish?

Simply said, software teams employ a development workflow as a structure or procedure to oversee production. Planning, developing, testing, deployment, and iteration are all included in development processes.

The Agile methodology has allowed us to structure our projects such that we can:

  • Better outcomes
  • A more thorough understanding of the technology and codebase
  • A deeper sense of belonging to the project, less frustration, and better connections and communication among team members

BJIT experts advise concentrating on four areas described below in particular since they produce the greatest outcomes if you want to get more out of your developers while minimizing time, cost, and effort.

The Detailed Software Development Workflow

#Stage 1: Issue drafting, estimate, and developer assignment

Since the evaluation is a vital step in the process, the entire team should take part in it. We have built good assessment abilities based on the following standards:

  • Problem complexity at its core
  • Ignorance of the situation or technology
  • Probability that unanticipated issues will occur
  • Time required for doing the required tests and for reviewing the job.

#Stage 2 — Software development

These days, the versioning system is an essential tool for software development (for example, Git). These, among other things, enable us to maintain different processes for the various issues we are working on as well as to have many remote branches of the codebase running at once.

At BJIT, in addition to the main branch, specific branches are added for every sprint. The term "sprint" frequently refers to a period of time after which the client-visible modifications are "issued."

During intra-sprint work, the sprint's branch serves as the primary version, and following the sprint's final demo, the main copy is aligned with it.

A fresh branch is then formed in preparation for the following sprint once the branch of the just completed sprint has been destroyed.

#Stage 3 — Validation

Once the issue has been resolved, the developer submits a merge request to have it propagated to the main branch. Many systems have embraced merge requests, notably Gitlab, which calls the method "GitFlow," and Github, which uses the term "Pull Request."

But first, each problem must pass two tests: a functional acceptance test, frequently carried out by the project's quality assurance lead, and a technical exam known as a code review.

Function Validation: Instead of analyzing the code at this point in the validation process, we should focus on the application's high-level behavior. Only the functional requirements associated with the problem are being examined.

As a general rule, this validation should be carried out first because it is more likely that an error in the application's behavior or a misinterpretation of the requirements will necessitate the need to significantly change the codebase in relation to one or more errors discovered during the review stage.

Code Review: At this time, technical discussions on the adjustments made to address the current issue should begin.

When code is submitted for review, the following is ensured:

  • The outcome of collective work
  • As consistent as feasible with intra-team standards, including those controlling testing, documentation, and code formatting
  • Making sure that no change is ever sent to the main version without being thoroughly examined by at least two developers.

4 Steps to Improve Software Development Workflow

  • Develop in iterations

The concept of Agile sprints is inextricably linked to the "iterative" nature of the workflow. We receive feedback from clients and QA testers at the end of each sprint’s designated timeline. One of the reasons we prefer Agile, iterative development approaches is that they eliminate the possibility of delivering useless software after months of effort.

Taking on development in 1-2 week sprints allows you to avoid this danger.

We then decide which functionalities to create first and which to delay or even remove since they are no longer necessary because we have a better understanding of the issues' priorities, which keep changing during the course of the project. Again, component-based development provides us with greater granularity, making it much simpler for us to add and delete functions than we can with a monolithic approach.

  • Managing the standard of code

The idea of employing manual testers increases expenses, but automated testers might be more expensive.

However, shipping software with bugs has greater expenses, let alone the time spent. The cost of losing a customer's confidence is substantially higher.

Making space for testing from the start is beneficial for this reason. This is especially true for automated tests, which may be used to monitor minor software components and ensure that they continue to perform as you grow your product.

  • Allow flexibility in the workflow

Your software development process outlines the steps that should be taken to complete the project. To gauge the project's progress, phases are often broken down into backlog, planning, doing, reviewing, and deployment.

However, revisions are frequently necessary because of inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the present software development workflow since things rarely go as planned. You can determine whether your workflow is ideal or whether it needs to be improved by asking the following questions:

  • Where are the bottlenecks happening?
  • Why are certain jobs opened again more frequently than others?
  • Do people avoid completing idle tasks?
  • Where in the process do you include client or customer feedback?
  • Are the deliverables being completed on schedule?

It's alright if your new or initial workflow includes errors and gaps in it. The process's flaws will become apparent after multiple tests, and you must make the necessary adjustments to strengthen it.

  • Use the appropriate project management software.

Although the basic software workflow management appears to be clear and uncomplicated, it has several undetectable inefficiencies that harm project objectives. Workplace inefficiencies can cost a firm between 20 and 30 percent of its yearly revenue.

Complex procedures, a focus on team efficiency above productivity, failing to see the broader picture, poor communication, and misaligned priorities can all lead to inefficiencies. Use feature-rich and user-friendly project management tools like Trello and Slack for communication and collaboration, Jira or Github for DevOps, Selenium for automated QA testing, MongoDB for data management, and others, for all of these issues to be resolved.

Steps to Take in the Software Development Process to Achieve Team Nirvana

#Tip 1: Establish definite goals

Steps to take:

  • Make sure that everyone on the team is aware of your vision and the "why" behind the project.
  • Utilize strategies like the product vision board to visualize your objective.
  • Decide who the key players are. Verify whose problem your proposed solution would address.
  • Support your team on a regular basis and assist them in comparing their activities to your objectives.

#Tip 2: Continuous delivery and deployment/continuous integration

Steps to take:

  • Fix little, important issues by adhering to the Kaizen principle.
  • Check to see if the modifications you made are improving the situation.
  • Encourage individuals to promote changes.

What Can You Do to Improve Workflow Management?

Every year, billions of new lines of code are created, and almost everything your customers' touch requires software. Thus, systems and software development expertise and effectiveness are crucial differentiators for businesses and competitive advantages for companies.

BJIT can speed up time to market with lower risk, and lower project costs.

You can do more with less by using our process automation solutions to achieve an optimal software development workflow. Get in touch with us now!

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About the Creator

Joe Harkins

Hey, I'm a freelance writer and like to create some stories and blog as well.

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