Have you ever thought about what determines the speed and cost of developing new projects? What determines the process of upgrading legacy applications? Among the various factors, it is important to highlight the software that you use. For example, software development tools, version control systems, application modernization services, various tools for automatic code regeneration, IBM i modernization tools, etc. However, the most important factor is the productivity of the programmers who work on the project. After reading this article, hopefully you will have a better idea what destroys the productivity of programmers and how to avoid it.
What is the productivity of programmers?
The productivity of programmers is a measure of how efficiently they can write code. There are several different criteria by which it can be calculated. Among them are the speed of solving problems, the quality of writing code, how easy it is to maintain and update the created application, and others.
Previously, the productivity of programmers was measured by the number of lines of code written. Now, this indicator is no longer relevant, since developers can use a lot of ready-made solutions for creating applications. This allows them significantly reduces the amount of code that needs to be written to create a new application. A more important factor is the speed with which programmers identify and solve problems, as well as the ability to effectively use existing platforms and applications to create new projects.
Another important factor is the quality of the code. You can evaluate it using criteria such as how well the program works, how easy you can change it, how long it takes to debug, etc. Sometimes a program that has more lines of code requires a lot of extra work, while another one that is written with less amount of code does not contain errors and is ready to use. In this case, the productivity of a programmer who wrote fewer lines of code will be higher.
Why is it a critical factor in software development projects?
The productivity of programmers is a very important factor in software development projects, as it affects the speed of creating programs and the costs associated with it.
Developers who have high productivity can create projects quickly and efficiently. This means that in the future you will need a minimum amount of time and money to support projects and fix bugs. In addition, creating quality projects increases the number of users who will like and use them, which in turn increases the company’s profit.
Programmers often work in teams. The productivity of a team depends on the productivity of all its members. Even if only one team member has low productivity, this can have a significant negative impact on the result of the work of the entire team. Therefore, it is important to maintain high productivity for every developer who participates in the creation of the project.
Learn about the valuable insights gathered from the POWERUp 2021 sessions — one of the IBM conferences 2021 held by COMMON.
What generally destroys the productivity of programmers?
Let’s take a look at the most popular causes that ruin programmer productivity.
Developers need to tune in to get things done. Often engineers need several hours to complete a single task. After the break, they will need time to tune in again. Thus, when attending meetings frequently, the process of working on tasks is always interrupted, which is why developers need much more time to complete them. In addition, the number of bugs is increasing, as programmers are constantly distracted and lose focus.
The environment in which developers work has a big impact on their productivity. The presence of different noises prevents them from concentrating. The design of the room in which they work also affects their productivity.
Sometimes it happens that the manager is not involved in the work, but at the same time, he often criticizes and looks for flaws. There are cases when a manager cannot define and clearly describe clear requirements, which leads to the need to redo the work performed. These factors reduce developer productivity. In addition, the manager distributes the workload in the team and organizes calls. If done incorrectly, the productivity of the development team is reduced.
Old software tools and hardware that the developer uses
Programmers use a lot of tools in the software development process. For example, IDE, version control systems, ready-made software solutions, etc. If a developer uses old tools that may be outdated or slow, this can negatively affects his productivity. We can say the same about the equipment and hardware he uses to work.
Vague formulation of the problem
Sometimes developers get an error message saying, “This doesn’t work, please fix it.” At the same time, programmers do not have information about what exactly does not work correctly, how to reproduce the error, etc. Clarifying these questions takes time and reduces productivity. The same goes for developing new features that have a fuzzy specification.
Inability to complete tasks on time
The constant need to complete a large amount of work in a short time increases stress and makes it impossible to concentrate. Thus, productivity will decrease.
How to improve programmers’ productivity?
Now when we have identified a list of reasons that reduce the productivity of programmers, we need to develop an action plan that will help eliminate these reasons and increase productivity. Below we list tips that you can follow to do this.
- Avoid frequent meetings. Try to organize short meetings at such times to avoid interrupting the work of programmers. For example, you can hold them at the beginning of the working day or before lunch.
- Plan your work in advance. Break large tasks into subtasks, and describe requirements in detail. Clearly describe the problems that arise when working with the software, and provide programmers with as much detailed information as possible to troubleshoot these problems.
- Distribute the workload evenly among all team members. Plan your team working hours so that the programmers have time to rest.
- Provide developers with the modern software and hardware they need to create programs.
- Encourage the learning and professional development of programmers.
Which tools can we use to improve IBM i programmers’ productivity?
IBM i software is very popular and widely used now. However, given the fact that it uses old technologies, working with it now can cause a number of difficulties. To increase the productivity of programmers who work with IBM i systems, you need to use special software. An excellent option for this is using LANSA IBM i modernization tools.
LANSA provides a number of IBM i modernization tools that make it easy to upgrade legacy IBM i applications and create new ones.
LANSA Open for .NET is a plugin that allows you to work with IBM i applications from within your .NET applications. You can access programs, resources, spooled files, message queues, OS commands, etc.
LongRange allows you to create mobile applications for Android, Windows, and MacOS. Using it, you can write one code and deploy it to devices with different operation systems. This easy-to-use tool allows you to create a mobile version of your IBM i applications, while giving you access to all the features of modern mobile devices, including the camera, GPS, and more.
With aXes, you can easily replace your legacy user interface with a modern web interface. Use Visual LANSA and RAMP to build modern programs using the latest technologies while retaining critical business functionality from a legacy application.
If you are interested in LANSA IBM i modernization tools, please contact us or register for free in LANSA and try to use them for your projects.