David Walker | 10 July 2015
Where we began
When I joined QA nearly 8 years ago I did so in a time of wonderfully ordered roles and responsibilities. It was a world of web developers, designer, application programmers and database administrators. Each sat in their own little silo worrying about only their little part of the puzzle with clear definitions of responsibility. With respect to this venerable old model that heralded the age of web and app development it also built in its own destruction creating a world of silos, isolated and closed knowledge – the world of “Not my problem”. As these complex systems have matured the effort and risk to change a product has become significant and difficult to achieve. This era and the solutions built around them draws to its end and something new awaits us.
The web developer jobs of today, the trendsetters and game changers do not work in bottlenecked waterfalls. From Tech Startups to large scale organisations the skills to succeed and adapt require a different mindset – it is the organisation that take this approach on that are noticeable taking the lead. This cultural change is not just contained to developers – the leaders of the organisation drive this transformative change and provide the tools for their organisation to thrive.
A more Agile way of working
The Agile, Lean and DevOps movements are the cornerstone of the new generation of Devs. Technologically adept professionals want the ability to self manage, define priorities and work in a fluid way. Agile allows us to create efficient metrics, openness and accountability. Lean allows us to explore the work that has gone before destroying bottlenecks in our systems and the new upstart DevOps using tools, organisational change to create scalable services and products that has tamed change and integration where all stakeholders are expected to understand part of each others role. This is the world where every problem is your problem to succeed them team needs everyone all in sharing responsibility, success and failure.
Work like a Ninja
To achieve this way of working you need a more rounded IT professional - what the industry refers to as T-shaped developer. A T-Shaped developer has one or more deep skillsets of knowledge complimented with broad generalist knowledge across an entire solution. Sometime known as full stack developers these rounded individuals forms the most in demand dev of the modern world requires they do front end, can make middleware sing and utilise the terminal on their chosen Operating System like a ninja and every single one of them knows how to test.
Almost all of these new Dev’s work in the world of open source – the closed shop shrink-wrapped products of the Microsoft and Adobe heyday draws to a close – in its stead is a world of public open source solutions, software and services rise to replace them. The developers of today cut their teeth on Linux and OS X, the use languages like SCALA, Python and Ruby instead of .NET and Java. The Enterprise giants of the world have been slow to react but now Oracle has released Java 8, Microsoft have changed their entire way of working in a few short months. With Windows 10 comes the end of the full product upgrade – now small iterative changes will be the norm. .NET5 will be built on the principles of Open Source with the source code available for everyone to see and use.
This is the age of the Frankenstein applications with services and solutions built up of perhaps a dozen different tools and frameworks. Each tool requires new skills to learn and manage and needs life-long learners that thrive as life-long learners.
This phase of machine led, digital development is one of rapid change – many organisations are engaged in route and branch reviews looking across their entire organisational skill set. We recognise that many of our customers are large-scale enterprise operations with deeply embedded technology and organisational behaviour. You will need to adapt and change or be out manoeuvred by more agile and efficient competitors – continual change and movement looking for the next step of improvement and efficiency is the new normal.
The modern developer and the landscape ahead of us is one that requires clear methodologies to work with, a transformative culture to embrace the ‘new normal’, tools that automate the simple tasks allowing organisations to focus on getting product to market combined with skilled and driven professionals.
Training and development
QA are uniquely positioned to help – the sheer breadth of our capability in Leadership, Technology, Service Management and Professional Best Practice. Over the last year quite organically a group of likeminded individuals who say this have found each other in the business – we’ve seen the direction our customers want to go and try to be ready when they are – we’re the new normal.
For more information, visit our web and app development training.