In 1979, famed music group Sister Sledge put out We Are Family to serve as inspiration for teams working to get through times of adversity:

“We fly just like birds of a feather..high hopes we have for the future..and our goal's in sight..Have faith in you and the things you do..And you won't go wrong.”

 

In today’s climate, software engineering teams are experiencing the common pains of software development more than ever, now that everyone’s working in a virtual and distributed setup. It’s a forcing function to work harder to adapt and overcome where they can, and play the hand that’s been dealt to them. 

 

We’ve polled the engineering teams who are adjusting to the current environment and seeing great results (regardless of their business situation), and there’s one best practice that continues to pop up:

 

They’re providing very transparent access to development data for everyone on the engineering team that needs it. They make it easy to discover, and ensure it’s easily accessible to each and every engineer so they can do their jobs in the best way possible.

 

What are they experiencing?

 

- Increased transparency and communication: there’s now a centralized place where people can go to get the answers they need, whether it’s retrospective notes or notes from the CEO’s all-hands meeting.

 

- Now have a single source of truth: this helps each engineer spot and alleviate where bottlenecks and inefficiencies occur without needing to dig into different development tools, whether Jira, GitHub, Jenkins, SonarCube or New Relic.

 

- Help individual engineers improve: each engineer now understands what success looks like and has the ability to get there. Plus, they’re able to benchmark to their peers and get best practices. For example, why certain tasks are taking longer than usual, cutting down on the back and forth with QA, increasing their code quality and recommendations on which third-party libraries to use.

 

- Building up camaraderie, even from afar: it kicks off great teamwork and collaboration when everyone is on the same page, no matter which time zone they’re sitting in.

 

- Enhanced onboarding: New engineering hires can get up-to-speed a lot faster on the tech stack. You have this backlog of information on the company that the new hires can immediately tap into. They could go through and see what was going on and how the company operates.

 

- Existing engineer teammates can upskill: current engineers who want to learn more about the current tech stack have a place to tap into, whether it’s documentation on a new part of the stack they haven’t worked with before, third party libraries that are perfect fit, or post-mortem mistakes not to make again.

 

At the end of the day, your engineering team is working together in the trenches to deliver happiness and value to your customers, all while helping your business meet milestones through technology. No matter the business climate, have faith in the things you can control, and set yourself up to meeting your engineering goals. You’re all in as a team.


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