Creating software people love!

Choosing the right tools to help developers

Monday, October 15, 2018
Lee Paul / Software Superhero

Record and include a video for this blog entry.

Want to really help your developers?

The standard Web development languages themselves are not hard and I recommend staying away from any solution providers that try to scare you into thinking they are. Especially if their solution involves any proprietary technologies of their own.

Rather than getting tools that try to “shield” your developers, I suggest finding solutions that eases their learning curve and helps them be more productive in those technologies. We use Visual Studio, arguably the most powerful IDE available, but there are many very good other tools, many free or open source, as well.

I have found that developers often revel in the challenge of a new language or technology and HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are not much of a problem for them. But, architecting and building out large scale enterprise applications that run on any sized device and in any of the browsers, now we're talking a daunting task. And there are no shortages of frameworks and tools hitting the market every day to help you with that task, and many of them are essential to the success of your project. The concern and fear becomes more about making the right choice than how hard it will be once you do.

I suggest setting up an environment and culture that fosters developer productivity in stable, well-known technologies. Doing so will keep projects on tract, reduce developer stress, and mitigate risk. It will also provide developers with the comfort that they will always have value in the workplace.

And, as tempting as it may be, don’t continually chase the hot new flavor-of-the-month technology. This will ultimately cost you lots of time, money, and effort continually switching from one to the next. This doesn't mean never switching though. At some point, it is necessary to make a transition to a new technology to meet new business requirements or to minimize building any technical debt. Look to do so in a way that minimizes refactoring impact. That is where a solid, robust architecture will save you time and time again!

I believe that a developer’s primary concern is creating great applications. Especially since they understand it's important, but rarely have time or budget to research or to do it the way they believe it ought to be done. Unfortunately, not getting the underlying architecture and core software done right upfront is one of the leading causes for project failures. Close behind might be ill-advised investments in proprietary technology that’s limiting, rather than leveraging core development standards.

Languages aren’t hard for developers. Creating well-architected, robust, and thought-out applications – that’s the hard part. If you really want to make a significant impact in a developer’s productivity, find a tool that makes that easier.

And yeah, that’s a soapbox I’ll always get on. Because if you know Surround, you know we’ve been creating ways to truly Accelerate software development for almost 2 decades. It is the core strategy to all of our development and what we built our business around. Our Accelerator provides 100% of the core architecture and software for you and provides wizards to generate the bulk of your application. You get a fully-functioning, well-architected application that runs on any device, all without any lock-in or limitations, using non-proprietary standard technologies. Now, that's how you simplify and accelerate the development of advanced software.

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  • Want to really help your developers? Surround has been creating ways to truly Accelerate software development for almost 2 decades. It is the core strategy to all of our development and what we built our business around.

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