Most of us can relate to something coder Sean Hickey posted to his Medium account a few years back. Here’s the gist of it: In Year One, they stick to a very tight and succinct coding style. As the years progress, most coders take things to higher and higher levels, writing longer and more detailed strings of code. Eventually, they become so experienced and efficient that by Year Ten, they’re back to square one, writing short, sweet programs that work like more complex ones.
But one of his commenters made me laugh out loud, with this response: “The Twentieth Year: “Hey John, can you write me that Hello World program? I need it by tomorrow.”’
Yup, we’ve all been there. The pace of everything in business has increased over the past few decades, and software developers and engineers are not immune to its effects. How often have you heard, “I need it yesterday!”
This Ain’t Your Grandad’s IT Department: Supply and Demand Rules
Higher consumer demand has led to an evolution in all aspects of business. For the modern software developer this means shorter project cycles, improved software tools, a higher focus on team collaboration, and the more prolific use of open source software. And while software development tools have improved, there are now also a lot more of them, and each one does something different.
In fact, the number and types of apps being built today is more than has been built in the last 40 years. Today, there’s an open source library for pretty much everything—and if you can’t find what you need, you create it.
Collaboration Is A Double-Edged Sword: Increased Efficiency AND Increased Data
Project timelines have sped up and collaboration has increased. Whereas most coding projects were solo endeavors 20-25 years ago, today most enterprises function in a highly collaborative manner. Projects filter through many departments and cycles are measured in minutes and hours rather than days and weeks.
Creating “one size fits all” applications from scratch is no longer optimal due to the fact that they can be complex, drawn out, poorly designed, and take years to complete. Instead, developers now look to open-source libraries to create applications that can easily integrate with other solutions, including third-party SaaS services. And while APIs make it simpler to complete these integrations, that also means the numbers of APIs to keep track of and systems to monitor have grown exponentially.
The best part of this “ease of integration” is that it has opened up new sharing capacity: Whereas systems at one time were focused on a centralized database (such as with desktop software), today aggregating to the cloud is the norm, and software is being designed to be easily shared and widely distributed, mostly due to increased demand from consumers and mobile employees.
Needless to say, it can be difficult to keep track of all the content created on a daily basis, as well as manage all the different duties of a software engineer all at once. And that’s where internal search helps increase productivity.
How Cloud-Based, Internal Search Helps Keep Software Developers On Track
As you might imagine, our developers use enterprise search tools frequently. Using our own Enterprise Search solution internally even allows our developers to address customer service issues in record time, closing some tickets in seconds by quickly cross-referencing with other clients’ information requests via search—surely that’s one for the record books! With tickets in JIRA, solutions in Github, and the conversation about it all in Slack, giving developers one tool to find everything can save them a ton of time.
Enterprise search lets developers quickly inspect why certain changes are being made, tracks important and potentially disparate data, and provides the context necessary to rapidly understand a new project. No more wasting time on email streams or knocking on office doors for explanations.
Working with design teams (and their MANY changes) is easier with enterprise search as well. A frequent complaint we hear from developers is that they often don’t know why they are building something or what the end goal is. With all the information about a project easily searchable—from the first creative brief to the final code—no one is left in the dark. Using simple but powerful search queries means hours aren’t wasted wading through Dropbox or Slack. Instead, when a request from marketing comes in, developers can source all the digital assets spread over whichever apps are in use on that project.
The heat is definitely on for software developers, and it’s only getting hotter. If you’d like to explore how Swiftype Enterprise Search could help take the pressure off your team, don’t hesitate to reach out.