Engineers build products to solve problems. To be a software engineer, neither do you have to be a computer evangelist nor would you require a specific degree. What you can do (when working with your team), however, is to evaluate ideas based on their merits, speak up when things are off, and finally, build awesome solutions.
At engineering-centric organizations, techies are focused on solving even the most complex of problems with the freedom to innovate whilst also growing and adapting themselves to the competitive marketplace. Company executives who are on the same page with their vision and strategy, and also consistent with their lines of communication create an empowering environment. In a way, they help dodge barriers and lay the bedrock of a high performing culture.
To bring some perspective into the matter, let’s explore the prime elements that define an unbiased engineering culture:
A collaborative ecosystem
A healthy workplace environment thrives on internal collaboration. When employees across designations team up to tackle a problem, it allows every idea to be augmented through diverse outlooks. Breaking the silo mentality ties everyone’s efforts together and is the key to driving innovation, building momentum, and increasing efficiency within the organization.
Simplification of action items
A massive chunk of actionables is always overwhelming. Breaking down workloads into micro-units not only enhances the workflow, but it is also easier to push smaller versions of work into production, keeping little room for error. Simplified tasks are also more feasible to address, even when you’re going to deal with a handover.
Perhaps the most important factor empowering an engineering culture is clean coding. Clean code is elegant, straightforward, and efficient, making it difficult for bugs to hide. Moreover, it is highly readable and hence the dependencies to maintain it are minimal. Clean code enhances the quality of a product by tenfold. Quality input not only ensures long-lasting output, but it also helps build customer loyalty. Although this practice involves meticulous refactoring and testing of the code and it may take longer in the beginning, in the end, the savings across technical debt, and maintainability are totally worth the extra effort!
Putting iterative models to practice
With such an approach, solutions are neither designed nor developed in one large chunk. Instead, the smallest possible pieces are planned and built, in short, frequent iterations. Building automated solutions on a smaller scale means that businesses can hit the market midway, continue learning, and deliver better value. As opposed to the traditional team that fails, fixes, and moves on, a team that operates at a more moderate pace is more efficient in keeping the business running smoothly.
A responsive approach to delivery
Uncertainty is the biggest constant, be it any market. In order to keep one’s head above the water, teams need to develop a responsive delivery approach, the most important aspects of which is incorporating feedback into the development cycle, pushing the team towards collective ownership of solutions, and, of course, extensive automation.
Torchbearers are constantly revolutionizing the way technological infrastructure is developed, deployed, maintained, and upgraded to stay at par with emerging market strategies. Established businesses have already experienced the success of continuous delivery and integration first-hand wherein teams design, test, integrate, and deliver software in a steadfast fashion.
While practices such as automated testing, continuous integration, intuitive design, and collective ownership are indispensable, it is equally crucial for business leaders to take into consideration the core values these practices are based on — inter-team communication, timely feedback, clean coding, and of course, an open work environment.
Once the significance of these core values is truly acknowledged, it will help entrepreneurs deliver greater business value to markets while reducing the cycle time. Tech teams too can then independently choose practices best suited for the end goal, from an engineering point of view!