The Expert Blindspot, or why you should let junior developers do code review.

The Expert Blindspot, or why you should let junior developers do code review.

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

When you are trying to bring a new application to life, code reviews are an essential part of the development process. They help ensure the quality of the code, identify potential problems and bugs early enough to squash them and provide the perfect opportunity to get feedback from your peers. This is a source of insight and helpful criticism that can help a developer grow.

The-Expert-Blindspot-or-why-you-should-let-junior--icono

After all, in big collaborative projects such as software development, no part of the process is made in isolation; receiving advice is an important part of every good team, cultivating a better collaborative environment, and establishing a sense of trust and camaraderie among the team. Code reviews, for example, are one of the most important steps in this process, but how they should be conducted, and by whom, are questions to keep in mind when trying to guarantee the quality of any product. 

Naturally, this task tends to fall on the shoulders of the more experienced developers of a team, as seniors should know what they are doing and what to look for, but is their input the only valid one? Or should junior developers be allowed to do code reviews for their more experienced teammates? What benefits can a team have by giving the least experienced members such a responsibility?

We want to make the case that allowing junior developers to review the code written by a senior collaborator not only helps them grow their skills, but it’s a procedure essential to ensure quality in the codebase. Any team that doesn’t employ this strategy might be missing a great opportunity there, but what’s the reasoning behind it?

“You can’t win against someone who makes a bet for fun”

The Expert Blindspot, or why you should let junior develop

In professional poker, winning against amateurs is not exactly guaranteed. Of course, luck is involved, but the technique is important too. Knowing how to read the tells of your opponent, having a good idea of which cards are currently in play, and learning to push your bets at the most strategic moments are part of the toolset of any professional player. And all this can be disrupted rather easily by an amateur with less experience at the game because they are harder to estimate and bluff.

This interesting irony was noted by movie critic Gene Siskel, an experienced player when he lost against his equally famous partner Roger Ebert at a bachelor party: “You can’t win against someone who makes a bet for fun”. In other words, professional player has very specific expectations if they are going against another pro, and their decisions come from a place of knowledge and experience where possibilities tend to be more studied and controlled. So, if you are an experienced developer reviewing the code written by another experienced developer, what exactly do you expect to see? Is that different from reviewing the code written by a junior programmer? Of course, the answer is yes. This phenomenon is called “the expert blind spot”:

The experts will have difficulty to understand why the beginners don’t understand. For them, the concept feels obvious. The learners, on the other side, won’t be able to ask the good questions either, since they’re not aware of what they don’t know. How to ask good questions if you have no idea what kind of answer you want?

Although the expert blind spot is usually used in the context of teaching, the difficulties a veteran might have to pass along his knowledge in the context of code reviews are similar to our earlier poker example. A senior reviewing the code of a senior tends to have certain expectations about it, which is both a benefit and a risk: certain things might be taken as “obvious” and not be considered until it’s too late.  

After all, anyone who has ever worked on a complex project knows the frustration of feeling where something might be wrong but can’t quite see it. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a look at it with fresh eyes. In that sense, junior developers can bring a lot to the table when it comes to code reviews, free from all assumptions and rigid pathways that might trip up even the best programmers.

A good way to conduct a code review

The Expert Blindspot, or why you should let junior 2

However, that is not to say that junior developers should bear the entire responsibility of code reviews; guidance and backup are still needed to ensure they are properly conducted during the sprint. In the words of Carlos Estrada, a Lead Developer Application at Scio:

It’s generally a good idea to have a junior dev participate in code reviews, it’s useful for them to see what changes a senior does, and learn to find and track changes, but they cannot be the ones to approve the review. There have been a few internal projects I supervised where mostly juniors were involved, and when the time was short, the juniors had to do it themselves, learning from the comments I have left on earlier reviews.”

In short, junior developers are the backbone of any software development team. They may not have as much experience as their senior colleagues, but they can make up for it with a desire to learn and master the craft, which makes them a perfect addition to a thorough code review: 

  1. As already said, by conducting code reviews, junior developers can see for themselves how code written by a veteran looks; which good practices are implemented, proper comment discipline, and readability, which can help them become better programmers. 
  2. A junior reviewing code can spot mistakes that a veteran might otherwise overlook due to the expert blind spot; a fresh perspective, free of all the expectations and assumptions a senior can unconsciously have, can sometimes obtain a better insight of the code.  

However, not all code review processes are created equal, and for one to be effective, it should follow a few simple steps that ensure the resulting review is useful. Many veteran developers may know these steps by heart, but to a junior starting to learn the value of these exercises, the following procedure is always recommended: 

  • First, developers should submit their code for review early and often.

    This allows for more frequent feedback and helps to prevent errors from becoming entrenched in the codebase. 

  • Second, all reviewers should have a common understanding of the project’s goals.

    This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to evaluating the code. 

  • Finally, reviewers should focus on providing constructive feedback.

    By indicating what works well and what could be improved, reviewers can help developers produce better code with fewer errors. 

So, to recap, code reviews are an important part of the software development process, and juniors can learn a lot from participating in them. However, they need guidance from seniors to make sure that the code is correct and meets the standards that these projects strive for. And the final approval always must come from a senior member of the team, keeping an eye on the process, and making sure everyone can learn from it. After all, experience builds on the chance to bring new perspectives and let them teach new things.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

“The best way to keep in touch with both worlds”, a chat with developer Nati Lara.

“The best way to keep in touch with both worlds”, a chat with developer Nati Lara.

The field of software development has a lot of roads, some are more challenging than others. And for Nati Lara, a Front-End dev currently living in Denmark and mom to a toddler, these experiences have been incredible. How does remote work and software impact her job as a mom and developer?

By Scio Team

Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living and I tell them I’m a software developer, the response almost always is “You must be very smart!”, because this preconceived notion of this job is that only the more intelligent persons can do it and, well, no. 

It’s like when I see a carpenter doing their thing, and I say to myself “I could never do that”, but if it really interests you and you want to make your ideas into reality, it’s within everyone’s reach.

I started programming back in High School when a teacher helped us learn to use Delfi by designing a simple website. It was a very interesting exercise, having to do an entire page by myself; it was the final project of the semester and everyone did whatever they wanted, but I got really into it.

It was a gripping challenge because the teacher didn’t explain much, so we had to make with whatever solution and tools we had on hand, and I liked that a lot. Delfi already has some basics, so we didn’t have to start from scratch, writing zeroes and ones, which changed my ideas of programming. I used to think it was a black screen with green text on it like in the movies, so it was a different experience.

I used to like computers a lot as a kid, my parents got their first one when I was 10 years old, but I didn’t know anything that had to do with programming. I was curious about interfaces, not as much as the inner workings, and that’s what I specialize in today.

That’s why I do Front-End in iOS, I like things where I can see the result. I don’t get too much into Back-End stuff, where I don’t have a clear vision of how things are working, I prefer working on things where I can see the immediate result.

As a developer, the best feeling I get is when I can put my ideas in motion, and make something useful out of them, building a work of art without using my hands directly, so to speak. I like working with others, knowing everything about every part of a project, and contributing in a specific direction. The client I’m currently working with makes vegan and vegetarian food; the chefs here run the kitchen and develop recipes that avoid meat, trying to show that the absence of it still results in a good dish. 

Their clients subscribe to the app I’m maintaining, and they get pre-made meals for three days, all vegan. There are many ideas involved with this project, like showing how much CO2 is being saved by avoiding the consumption of meat. I like it because, beyond the food, it tries to show the individual impact we have, and it even changed my conception of vegan and vegetarianism, which has changed since I work here and now I want to do my part.

The road here wasn’t a straight line. I originally studied Art and Digital Animation, because even though I always had some affinity for STEM stuff, I also liked creativity, drawing, and graphic design, but I didn’t want to go completely in that direction. So I tried something that had a bit of everything, but I ended up realizing that I liked it a lot, but maybe I wasn’t as good at it.

At some point, I started developing web pages with a friend that wasn’t very good at programming, but skilled at designing, so we started taking freelance jobs where I did the technical stuff and she did the visual part of the project.

That is how I ended up pursuing a Master’s degree in Software Development because I found it the best way to keep in touch with both worlds. I’m a developer, and I like having an opinion on everything visually going on during a project; when doing a website, I like to make sure everything lines up, looks good and works well. Even if I don’t consider myself the best designer, I like to pay attention to the details of it by programming.

For a degree like this, a proportion of 30% women does not sound like a lot, but it is, even if women are the most prone to abandon it before finishing. In Digital Design it was more balanced, around 50/50 or so, but here it was a noticeable difference. I think this ratio holds in most engineering careers, and in our culture at least, more women go for careers in Humanities like Arts or Social Studies, and a lot less in STEM.

My dad was a teacher, and he always raised us close to the sciences, so it wasn’t an issue for me, but my parents did prevent me from trying things like sports, especially soccer. I mean, I still don’t play it, but I also never had the opportunity, even if my dad somehow planted the seeds of interest in sciences like math.

As a female developer, though, I have never felt out of place or made feel less, although I’ve never worked full time in Mexico. I currently live in Denmark, and so far I have been the only woman in the Tech team of both companies I have worked at.

There were more women at school, that’s for sure, but right now we are fifteen people in the Development department, and to be honest, I like it that way. A lot of owners and entrepreneurs are feeling the pressure of attracting women to close the gap between male and female developers, so it has been easy for me so far to find a place to work. Being a woman in this industry is an advantage some of the time. There’s nothing to be intimidated by.

It’s even funny sometimes. At work parties, I’m the only one trying to dress well and use make-up, and my friends like to joke about it, saying that my job is making sure everything looks great, so of course, I do those things.

That being said, it’s curious to notice that, at companies like Scio for example, most women tend to gravitate towards analytical and QA stuff. I wonder why that is. I’ve never met another woman doing Test Automation or things like that; last year a girl started working with us in Full-Stack but doing Data Analytics, and everyone else has always been men.

 

It’s something I talk about a lot. I have many friends dedicated to Humanities, and we always discuss the differences between our fields; in the case of one of them, her office is almost purely women, with one or two guys here and there. I guess there are many reasons for it, and I have wondered before why it’s so important to close gaps in certain areas.

I don’t see a field dominated by either gender as something inherently wrong, if these differences were dictated by more biological, natural affinities, like women being more social or men being more analytic. But when those exclusions are cultural when we try to separate genders from childhood by allowing kids to play with certain toys only, we are creating inequality, and something should be done about it. And this is a change that we are not going to see in the next year or two, but it will take maybe an entire generation to change these points of view.

Now, in the actual job, do these differences matter? Maybe I have different aesthetic sensibilities and ideas of how things should look, so I can tell my coworkers an application needs, but I’m not sure that’s because I’m a woman, or because I have a background in Design. Who knows?

Being a developer has also brought other advantages for me. I have a son currently four years old, and working in software gave me a lot of leeways to define my schedules and limits, define my own way to work, and leave enough time for my family. I feel like I’m more productive, with better control of my time, and applying a developer point of view to raising my kid, where I accomplish big things by dividing it into smaller tasks, finishing each, and going from there, has helped me a lot. 

Also, I’m used to staying up very late at night, so being a developer has also helped me a lot with that. Working in software, then, is very freeing and flexible, and I’m glad I could do it even before I was a mom. I don’t have to go to the office all the time, I can get along anywhere and the pay is not bad at all, so my quality of life is something I’m really happy about.

Benefits of Agile Development

Benefits of Agile Development

There are multiple methodologies that can be applied during software development, and one of the most popular is the concept of Agile software development. In an Agile environment, applications can be created through the implementation of individualized steps, with each one working toward a common goal. And while Agile methodologies (Scrum and Kanban, just to mention a few) have many benefits for developers, they are also advantageous for clients as well. Here are several ways that Agile development helps clients:

Client Engagement

Perhaps the foremost benefit of using Agile software development methodologies is the ability to keep the customer involved in every facet of the project. Commonly, Agile development progresses in stages known as Sprints, and it is after the completion of each Sprint where both developers and clients can make assessments and implement changes. This helps to promote a fluid exchange of information leading to an increase in project transparency. In addition, the fact that each Sprint represents a small piece of the development cycle means that clients can be frequently updated on the progress of the application.

Adaptability

It is not uncommon for a client’s needs to change during the development process, and with an Agile environment, these changes are relatively simple. While there is usually a formal plan as to how the finalized application will function, by building it in individualized steps, clients are able to refine specific functionalities while the software is still being created. In this way, these updates can be put to use during the next Sprint, after which the results can be retested to ensure client satisfaction.

Predictable Costs

Software development can be costly, and in many cases, these costs can fluctuate significantly as programming obstacles are encountered. However, through the use of Agile methodologies, developers have the ability to more accurately predict the costs that will be incurred throughout the process. This predictability comes from the fixed duration of the Sprints that separate each development phase. By knowing exactly how long a phase will take to complete and the amount of work that will be required, developers and clients will be aware of the costs before the next Sprint begins.

Goal-Oriented

The Agile development process allows clients to set their own goals for the project and this can help the development team better understand the specific needs of the client. Through this added level of understanding, programmers and developers will be able to make recommendations to the client which could have a positive effect on the final application.

In Summary: Agile Development is…

When it comes to meeting the needs of the customer, Agile software development offers many advantages to the more standardized ways of building applications. Through Agile development, programmers and clients can easily engage and collaborate throughout each phase of the project, and this level of transparency helps to ensure that all team members are working toward a single goal. In addition, by breaking the development process into stages there is a greater ability to predict the costs that will be involved in the creation of the application. Furthermore, Agile phases, known as Sprints, allow for coders to make adaptations even as the software is being developed. Remember to keep these points in mind when looking for hiring a software development company.

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Agile Project Initiation

Agile Project Initiation

If you search on the Internet for “agile project initiation” you are going to find a LOT of templates. People want structure and easy answers, so of course, these simple answers rise to the top of every search. Many (if not most) of the templates offered are pared-down formats from the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) Project Initiation Documents (PID). There is nothing basically wrong with the idea of using templates or most of the templates offered, except – they tend to become prescriptive when they should be taken as guidance.

From the Agile Manifesto: “…we have come to value:

Working software over comprehensive documentation,”

With that in mind, we should ask – why do we document agile projects? Often, the answer is – because it is required (by someone) when in reality the answer should be – to communicate. But again, that simple answer fails to guide us to the necessary outcome:

  • Documentation should be a natural part of agile project initiation, but not the goal. It should proceed from on-going discussions between stakeholders, the product owner and the development team that is developed in Sprint 0, but it must not end there. The conversations and the documentation of outcomes must continue through the lifecycle of the project and the product.
  • strawman

    Initial documentation is just a strawman

    Documents gathered from product owners and key stakeholders are starting points, not final documents. Documents developed by a designated team member to fill out a template are strawmen to be examined, discussed, questioned, and used as a base for the ongoing development of understanding within the entire project team.

  • Living documentation formats should be preferred over static. In smaller projects, it may not be necessary to manage documentation formally, but in most cases using the same concepts as those used for source code management is a valid guideline. Properly maintained, living documentation answers the questions, “when was this decision made? by whom?” and gives a revision history that tells the story when necessary, but only makes it apparent when needed. It needs to include simple artifacts of these discussions – photographs of whiteboards, screenshots of modified mockups, etc. – in preference to notes developed after the fact and out of the sight of the team.
  • During Sprint 0, the aim must be to develop enough trust among the project team members to allow questions and dialog to form the base for a common understanding of those items that are included in most PID templates. If initial documentation is “handed down from on high” to team members without open, trusting discussion – it cannot be internalized by the team and it will not respond to the inevitable changes that will come as discovery and learning continue throughout the project. Agile software development embraces change by allowing the project team to recognize the inconsistencies and discoveries that will come out during development, surface them and deal with their impact through discussion and collaborative negotiation.

And before we get too far away from it – there are some really strong ideas in the Agile Modeling page on Agile/Lean Documentation. Honestly, though, there is a lot of information in that reference that should really be digested as a part of understanding agile, not as a guideline for a new project. For that purpose, this short piece is a better resource. But, if the outcome of project initiation is not a bunch of filled out PID templates that we can all take back to our cubicles and file away – What is it?

Agile Project Initiation is All About Communication

With the ideas we have mentioned in mind, we have to acknowledge that open, trusting, collaborative communication does not happen automatically in an agile project team. There are natural stages that every group will go through before they can have the kind open discussion needed without fearing it will harm relationships and respect. Discussions need to be wider than the project infrastructure, technology, and user stories, without the feeling an individual is stepping over the boundaries by asking about non-functional issues. We might need to know:

  • Does the culture and background of key user profiles matter to the software development team?
  • Does the role of key subject matter experts (SMEs) in product development for an organization make a difference to who needs to be included in discussions?
  • Are we using a Lean Product Development model with the inclusion of stakeholder users as part of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development?
  • If we are working in a DevOps implementation, how does that change our standard production procedures?

There are all sorts of questions that are not (and cannot be) included in standard PID templates but could be critical to a specific project. If we don’t discuss our viewpoints and ask questions, we run the risk of assuming we have a common understanding and making decisions based on those assumptions. Every project, every team, every organization is different. In the best case, we can open ourselves up to collaborative discussion by getting the team together, face-to-face during project initiation, for dialog and team building using team games and facilitation with a bias to being productive, explorative, and fun. Using these techniques, we can strengthen the bonds and shared risks necessary to maintain a successful project throughout its lifecycle.

facetofaceIn cases where face-to-face project initiation is not possible (hopefully more rare than the rule), much can be accomplished with video/voice meetings if they are relatively short and like agile documentation, structured just enough to ensure the meetings reach necessary outcomes and allow for continued direct discussions among stakeholders in the team when needed. There is nothing much worse than sitting in a meeting where a long, passionate discussion between two team members seems to be sucking all the air out of the room – and the meeting outcomes are lost.

This piece is relatively short and again, more of a guideline than a prescription for agile project initiation, as it should be if we are to “eat our own dog food.” Bottom line:

  • Don’t be afraid to pull out a template when you start your next project, or when you look at it – crumple it up and throw it away so you can start your own list based on what you know and don’t know.
  • What you think you know or don’t know are assumptions and should be treated as such both during project initiation and throughout the project. Only a discussion with open questions between team members can validate ideas and give us a basis for moving forward. And the assumption that is understood as valid today may not be completely correct at another time.
  • Documentation must be limited to what is necessary when it is necessary and maintained throughout the project as living knowledge. Agile documentation should not be the domain of one person or one role. It must be available and dynamic – allowing everyone on the team to contribute when necessary – in a wiki-style rather than as a bunch of locked Word documents.
  • Agile project initiation should focus on both the productive side – bringing together the information needed to organize the project, initialize environments, and the functional user stories needed, as well as the people/team side – developing the understanding, trust, and communication necessary to work collaboratively throughout the project. Ignoring either side is perilous. Assuming the job is done at the end of Sprint 0 is fatal.

Scio is a vendor of agile, nearshore services for software development projects with our customer base in North America. We can provide project-based or dedicated teams as required for each situation. We would be glad to discuss how our broad base of experience and skills could help you be successful with your next project. Contact us for more information.

7 Reasons You Might Need a Software Development Company

7 Reasons You Might Need a Software Development Company

Are you having a difficult time upgrading your services and software products? Do you feel like you are wasting time and resources on starting up your game plan?

A lot has changed in the tech world in the past few years. More and more, companies are realizing the importance of having a strong software development team in order to remain competitive. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need a software development company, here are seven reasons that might make you change your mind.

1. Save Time and Cost – You need to update your existing applications but don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself.

The software development lifecycle can be tedious and time-consuming. You have to plan, implement, test, and document your project before moving on to deployment or maintenance of the finished product – all in addition to an ever-changing industry environment where anything could happen at any given moment! But there’s no need for that anymore thanks to modern technology; nowadays we emit a minimum viable product (MVP) which saves you money by launching products faster than ever before possible while validating customer feedback early so they focus their efforts on what really matters: features people want rather than wasting countless hours perfecting things not needed yet (or perhaps even never)!

2. Integrated Agile Method

The July 2017survey of Forbes showed that 92% of the 500 senior executives interviewed believe organizational agility is critical for success. This goes hand in hand with statistics showing how 85% of software developers are using Agile methods at an increased rate – more than ever before!

Rapid development and deployment at the most critical time are what Agile provides. The goal of this approach, as you may know by now, is to benefit production software engineering teams looking to move quickly while still meeting expectations, and developing products that work well in the current environment – it’s all about getting things done!

Software developers who use true Agile ensure that you’re always in the know about your product’s progress, and can quickly adapt to changing demands.

3. In-house Experience: don’t have the in-house expertise to develop certain types of software.

The experience of developing your product is important. The lack in some cases can lead to problems for the company, especially if they are a startup with no previous projects under its belt and need help from an experienced team who has already been through this process before so that investment costs don’t pile up too quickly while also ensuring good teamwork and an MVP that hits the market as soon as you need it.

Fortunately, seasoned IT professionals of software developers can serve as an in-house team and work on your products. Their presence and expertise can significantly aid in your project’s success.

4. Software development projects can often be complex and time-consuming

Software development projects can often be complex. This is due to the many factors that need to be taken into accounts, such as the functionality of the software, the user interface, and the overall design.

Time is another important factor to consider when developing software, as we said before. It is important to ensure that the project is completed within the allocated time frame, as this can often be a determining factor in the success of the project.

There are many different aspects to consider when developing software, and it is important to take all of these into account in order to create a successful project.

Software development companies are able to provide you with a team of qualified professionals. Stack Overflow’s 2018 survey projected that three-quarters of more than 85,710 professional developer respondents have bachelor’s degrees in computer science and engineering – which is an impressive statistic!

By outsourcing your software development needs to a pool of educated IT and technology professionals, you will have more flexibility with your time and resources.

5. Strategic Focus: You want to focus on your core competencies and leave software development to the experts.

Hiring the right software development company is crucial to creating a successful product. Anne Latham, founder, and president at Uncommon Clarity says that hiring wisely will provide focus by limiting what direction an organization can take in their work, so when it comes down to deciding how to move forward with developing a product, choosing correctly is key.

By aligning your product with the expertise of developers, you can focus on what’s most important. Developers know their field and will work to make sure there aren’t any complications or issues when it comes time for launch; so with a clear and focused strategy, your product launch can be successful.

6. Advanced Technological Resources: working with an external developer gives you access to new ideas and perspectives.

As the world of technology continues to evolve, it’s important for software development companies not only to have a strong understanding of what their clients need but also to be able to work with them on an ongoing basis so that innovation can happen regularly.

By outsourcing software development services, you can have the assurance of getting fresh perspectives from innovative experts. As a result, your product’s success is secured.

7. Risk management

Many businesses view risk management as an unnecessary expense that cuts into profits. However, the truth is that risk management is essential to protecting your business from catastrophic losses. By taking proactive measures to identify and mitigate potential risks, you can save your business money in the long run.

One way to reduce risks is to invest in app maintenance services. By keeping your app up-to-date and free of errors, you can minimize the chances of it crashing or malfunctioning. This can help to prevent customer dissatisfaction and lost revenue.

Another way to manage risks is to be mindful of potential threats. This includes things like cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and even employee theft. By being aware of these risks, you can take steps to mitigate them. For example, you might invest in cyber security measures or insurance policies.

Ultimately, taking proactive measures to reduce and manage risks can save your business a lot of money in the long run. So don’t view risk management as an unnecessary expense – view it as an investment in the future of your business.

Benefits of Working with a Nearshore Software Development Company

Nearshore software development companies have become a popular option for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve. By outsourcing their development needs to a nearshore company, businesses can tap into a pool of talented developers at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house. In addition, nearshore companies are often more flexible and responsive than their onshore counterparts, making them ideal partners for businesses that need to move quickly. So if you’re still on the fence, send us a message and we’ll be happy to discuss how our team can help yours stay competitive in today’s tech world.

Responsibilities of an Agile Software Development Manager

Responsibilities of an Agile Software Development Manager

When we hear the word “agile,” the first thing that comes into our mind is the quick ability to respond to change. This skill is crucial, especially if you want to adapt to the evolving world of technology.

This term represents how you are able to think and respond to uncertain situations you will come across.

Agile software development involves practices and frameworks based on certain values and principles in software development. It uses planning, test-driven development, sprints, and pair programming, among others.

Approaching software development in a specific method can help you understand exactly what you need to do in a particular scenario.

It is important to know your duty and responsibilities as an agile software development manager. Hence, we have come up with a list below to help you succeed in your role.

What is the Role of an Agile Software Development Manager?

A lot of companies empower their teams to self-organize with an expectation of committing and delivering their goals on time. While bigger organizations may have different agile teams, they continue to use self-organizing principles to manage the roles of the team members.

Each technique used in agile software development has a clear and defined role that varies. To be able to work effectively as a team, each member needs to know what their role is as well as those of other team members.

Hence, it is important to define the responsibilities of an agile software development manager. Generally, the manager helps the team members excel in their specific roles while making sure that the process is up to standards using agile principles.

Overall, the manager ensures that the team delivers excellent results.

Here are some of the most important duties of an agile software development manager.

1. Project Planning and Management

As a manager, you need to define the scope of the project, create an efficient workflow, and a realistic delivery schedule. At the same time, you are expected to be on top of everything, including leading, organizing, and preparing the progress reports.

Part of the role of a manager is to project plans and make necessary changes if required.

Managers must ensure that the project runs on schedule and everyone is updated in the process. An agile manager should also live and breathe the agile process and principles so that you can tackle the project more effectively.

2. Team Management

One of the most important duties of an agile software development manager is to manage your team properly. By assisting the teams and holding each member accountable, you can efficiently improve the work process.

You should guide and mentor your team properly, especially as they undergo a stressful environment.

Most agile projects require a critical timeline. Therefore, you need to ensure that the project gets completed on time.

As you manage your team properly, make sure you don’t micromanage them. Avoid overstepping and respect their roles. How you treat them can have a huge impact on their work process and output.

3. Risk Management

A good agile development manager should know how to clearly identify risks and come up with an effective risk management plan. By resolving issues, it helps keep the project moving.

Part of this task is to ensure that there are no conflicts within the team members, the budget is on point, and the tasks are achievable.

As a manager, you need to anticipate potential risks in advance so that you can determine the steps of how to avoid them. By creating risk development plans, you prevent your team and company from wasting time, effort, and money.

4. Process Management

A well-defined process creates more structure to the workflow. Make sure you identify and follow the best practices in agile software development.

Divide the project into segments and distribute them among team members so that you can reach your target goals within the given timeline.

Keep the workload balanced so that no member falls behind. In an agile environment, the communication between the team and the product owner is crucial in terms of meeting deadlines.

5. Team Building

Part of managing your team is to empower each member. Make sure that everyone is engaged in the project and is contributing to the goal. You should manage their tasks at an achievable pace without sacrificing the quality of work.

An agile software development manager should act as a mentor to his team. Hence, you should follow the basic steps in management which include coaching, one-on-one meetings, and providing constructive feedback.

At the same time, you need to ensure rapport between the members so that they can work better as a team. A successful manager encourages the team members to bring ideas to the table.

Conclusion

An effective agile software development manager is crucial to any organization. However, the job requires knowledge, research, and hard work. Most organizations require software development and continuously adapt to the automated and digital world.

To be a successful manager, we highly encourage you to fully embrace various responsibilities such as project planning, team management, and risk development. In an agile environment, you need to learn how to adapt and react quickly to any situation that may arise.

If you need additional support in setting up your roadmap, we at Scio can help you find the best solution to achieve your business goals. Talk to us today!