The Swiftype Blog

Why I joined Swiftype: Great people and endless opportunity

Sam Reid

I recently moved from Austin, TX to join Swiftype here in San Francisco. Although I was leaving my family, friends and the great Lone Star State behind, I knew that when Swiftype extended me an offer I had to accept. Here’s why.

Reason #1 – The Founders

Swiftype has two amazing founders – Matt Riley and Quin Hoxie. Matt, the CEO, is also from Texas so we had that in common from the start. Matt studied Electrical Engineering at Texas and was Director of Product at Scribd before starting Swiftype with Quin. Quin, the CTO, studied CS at Arizona and was also at Scribd before co-founding Swiftype. These guys are a pleasure to be around and I’m constantly learning from them.

Reason #2 – The People

When I visited the Swiftype office for my interview, every employee I came across went out of their way to say hello. This really had an impact on me and influenced my decision to pack up my life and move to California. In addition to thoughtful, the people at Swiftype are super smart and dedicated. I’m always picking up new things from my coworkers and find myself impressed with our people on a daily basis. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Just ask Chris, one of our engineers.

Reason #3 – The Culture

Swiftype fosters a culture that is relaxed but fast-moving and focused at the same time. Obviously, results matter at Swiftype but our people also know how to have some fun while crushing their goals. It’s well known that people perform at their highest level when they can be themselves at work. This actually happens at Swiftype, and I think it’s a key element of the company’s success so far.

Specialty’s cookies

Here’s a fact about the Swiftype culture – When a new employee joins the company, we put a box of delicious Specialty’s cookies on their desk so that other employees come by throughout the day.

Reason #4 – My Team

The marketing team at Swiftype is special. We have a great leader in Praveena Khatri who sets the tone and keeps us moving in the right direction. Before joining Swiftype, I had worked at small startups and didn’t have much experience with Salesforce or Marketo. The marketing team helped me quickly get up to speed with these important platforms. Additionally, the Swiftype marketing team is the largest team I’ve been a part of. Nevertheless, I found it very easy to mesh with the team, collaborate on projects and push things forward.

Reason #5 – The Market Size and Opportunity

Our search technology at Swiftype is in a league of its own. Today, we power search for over 500,000 websites and serve great companies like Lyft, Okta, Twilio, Qualcomm, NBC Universal, HubSpot, Cloudflare and Asana. If you have a customer-facing website and you aren’t using Swiftype Site Search, you’re truly doing your company a disservice.

There are around 4,300 publicly traded companies (Source: World Bank) and 27.9 million small businesses in the US (Source: US Gov’t). Considering that most companies need a website these days, we have a large total addressable market at Swiftype. And we’re just talking about the market for our site search product in the US. (My nickname on the marketing team is CrunchBase, so I guess it makes sense that I sized up our market opportunity)

Recently, we launched a new product – Swiftype Enterprise Search. Swiftype Enterprise Search enables a company to search across all their internal data, no matter where it’s hosted, from one search bar. Historically, only really big companies needed an enterprise search solution but that has changed. Over the past 5 years, there has been a proliferation of high-quality SaaS apps and productivity tools.  But these apps have also introduced a data fragmentation problem that is pushing back on that progress — causing frustration within teams, duplication of work, and overall inefficiency. Swiftype solves this data fragmentation problem for both startups and Fortune 500s – helping companies to be more productive and get the most out of their data.

Swiftype Office

Swiftype is Hiring!

I’m a huge believer in both of our products and can’t wait to see how much we grow over the next year. If you’re interested in joining Swiftype, you can check out our careers page for our current openings and apply.

Customers Say It Best

Since Swiftype’s launch in 2012, we have been dedicated to serving search to a wide variety of companies, from large scale enterprises to smaller scale businesses. We are proud and honored that we’ve been able to help so many customers quickly, easily and efficiently maximize their website (and brand) potential with our site search product. Over the years we have been constantly focused on improvements to our offerings, whether through new and updated features or through partnerships with other providers. Our customers are extremely important to us, and we are humbled and overjoyed that they continue to put their trust in Swiftype year after year.

Many have found success and left us some pretty stellar reviews on G2 Crowd, the leading platform for business solution reviews. Each month, nearly 900,000 buyers utilize G2 Crowd for unbiased user reviews to assess which products are best for their businesses. Swiftype’s reviews on G2 Crowd both reaffirm the value of our product to our customers, and allow us to improve our products to make sure each and every user is satisfied with their site search.

Check out some of our favorite reviews below! Our customers constantly tell us they love how Swiftype continuously helps their customers find exactly what they need with our ease of installation, amazing relevance, and stellar support.

 

We would like to say thank you to all of our customers. Read success stories from current Swiftype customers here.

If you also love Swiftype but haven’t gotten a chance to write a review yet, visit G2 Crowd here

Calculate your company’s internal searching costs

Calculate your company’s internal searching costs

“Employees spend 30% of their time searching for information, answers and insights to help them do their work.”

Is that deck ready yet?

You hire a new employee and assign them to work on a presentation for a potential customer. The employee knows their deck needs to adhere to the company’s style guide and that they need to use some company reports for a few slides in the deck. The employee opens up Powerpoint and realizes that they don’t have the company template deck for enterprise deals. First, they open Google Drive and search there. No dice. Then, they open Dropbox and find the template. Now they’re ready to get started.

The employee, let’s say his name is Patrick, is making some progress until he has a layout idea for the 4th slide. Since Patrick is new and wants to make sure the deck is nothing short of excellent, he wants to reference the style guide. Unfortunately, Pat has no clue where the guide is. He had success with Dropbox last time, so he looks there. No luck. Next Pat looks in G Drive. After trying a few different queries, he finds the guide.

Pat continues to make solid progress until he needs to use data from a report created earlier that year. As mentioned, Pat knows the report exists but has no clue where it is. Again, he hops between apps, plays around with search queries and finally finds the report. Eventually, Pat finishes the deck and all is well.

“If your company has 100 employees, your cost of searching each year is 62,400 hours which equates to $2,400,000 if your average employee makes $80k.”

Data fragmentation is costing your company some serious $$$

But all is not well, and it turns out this data fragmentation problem is even worse than expected. According to Forrester Research, employees spend 30% of their time searching for information, answers and insights to help them do their work. Let’s take a moment to dig into this.

If your company has 100 employees, your cost of searching each year is 62,400 hours which equates to $2,400,000 if you’re paying your employees an average of $80k. Ouch.

If you are a very large company with say 10,000 employees, then your employees spend 6,240,000 hours a year searching which equates to $240,000,000 down the drain. Obviously, time spent searching for internal data is a massive hidden cost that needs to be addressed.

Quantify your cost and address the problem

You might be wondering what your company’s cost of internal searching is. Today’s your lucky day. We’ve provided a tool to help you calculate that number, and you can access it here.

Deploy a solution

At Swiftype, we have built a solution to help you combat this growing data fragmentation problem. It’s called Enterprise Search and it enables you to search across all your information from one search bar. Swiftype can be implemented in less than 10 minutes for most companies and works well for teams of all sizes.

Top Site Search Questions on Quora

Swiftype on Quora

Quora has your answer

If you aren’t familiar with the question and answer platform that 190 million people visit on a monthly basis, Quora is a question and answer platform that leverages smart algorithms to curate content. It was founded by Adam D’Angelo (former CTO of Facebook) and Charlie Cheever (early Facebook employee) in 2009. Over the past 8 years, it has replaced Yahoo Answers as the go-to platform for Q&A on the internet.

Quora has questions about literally everything, ranging from “What are the 10 best books you’ve ever read?” to “If Google employees were swapped with Microsoft employees, what would happen?” Since we are experts on search here at Swiftype, we’ve taken to Quora to help answer questions about site search and how to do it right. Here’s an overview of what we’ve addressed.

Topic 1 – Google is sunsetting site search

Google is sunsetting their site search by the end of 2017 and is directing users to their ad-powered site search product. This is not an acceptable replacement for businesses, so the search for a new solution is in full-swing.

There are two popular Quora questions on this topic:

Read Matt Riley's answer to Alternatives to Google Custom Search and GSS on Quora

Read Sanjana Chand's answer to Are there site-specific search services similar to Google Site Search? on Quora

Topic 2 – Site search best practices

As search has become a critical component for almost every website or app, webmasters and product builders are seeking to provide the best experience possible. Recently we answered a question on Quora about site search best practices. Since we power search for more than 500,000 websites, we thought we could provide some helpful insight.

Read Sam Reid's answer to What are the best practices for implementing an internal site search? on Quora

Topic 3 – Top site search providers

A popular type of question on Quora is “What is best solution for X?” or “What company does the best job for Y?”. This type of question can be tricky to answer as a representative of a company because answers can come across as biased. At Swiftype, we’ve taken the approach of remaining neutral. When we answer these questions, we focus on objectively highlighting our feature set and the benefits that they provide. Here’s what we had to say.

Read Sam Reid's answer to Who are the best vendors for site search technology? on Quora
Read Praveena Khatri's answer to What is the best site search to implement on a website? on Quora

What are your site search questions?

Do you have a site search question that you’d like us to answer? Post your question on Quora and then tweet at us to let us know (Our handle is @swiftype). We’re happy to share what we’ve learned about search from serving customers like Lyft, Twilio, NBC Universal, Shopify and many others.

Salesforce Selects Swiftype as a Launch Partner for Federated Search

Swiftype has been chosen by Salesforce as a launch partner for its Summer 2017 Federated Search release. Swiftype’s proven Enterprise Search platform provides Salesforce users the ability to find and access content stored outside of Salesforce from within Salesforce Classic, Salesforce Console, or Lightning Experience. Regardless of where content lives, users can search for documents in Dropbox and Google Drive, content living in Confluence spaces, Jira tickets, Slack and Gmail conversations, and many other files critical to their work, without ever leaving Salesforce.

Swiftype’s extensive connector framework includes Box, Sharepoint, Slack, Google G Suite, Jira, Confluence, Evernote, Dropbox and more. For a full list, view here.  

Companies and their employees benefit greatly from the extension of Swiftype’s best-in-class artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) technologies into Salesforce Federated Search. These technologies help identify a user’s true intent for every search, and apply refinements to filter content from external sources, for a precise and desired result output.  

With Swiftype’s search engine powering Salesforce Federated Search, employees are able to search once and see results across all their external data sources in the same Salesforce results page. Swiftype’s backend technology better understands queries and prioritizes content sources based on the search queries themselves, historical search behaviors, and even the individual’s role and most-used sources. For example, support reps work on cases and often reference articles or documentation stored in apps like Confluence or Sharepoint, so, as they search, the system learns to prioritize results from those applications. Likewise, Swiftype’s algorithms learn and understand that sales reps work most in accounts and opportunities and often need to locate contracts or collateral — so it surfaces data stored in Dropbox, Google G Suite or Box. Allowing search to crawl outside data sources and populate results within a Salesforce user’s existing workflow is paramount to maximizing employee productivity and efficiency.

GETTING STARTED

Salesforce users can get started with Salesforce Federated Search by contacting Swiftype here or by signing up for a free 14-day trial.  More details on implementation can be found on the Salesforce blog here.

HOW IT WORKS

Users can launch Swiftype Enterprise Search several different ways from within Salesforce:

1) Directly from the search bar (see Figure 1)
2) From an embedded Swiftype Search tab (see Figure 2)
3) By using an installed Swiftype browser extension (see Figure 3)

Figure 1 (search bars queries will bring you to a results page like this)

 

Figure 2 (search within a designated Swiftype tab in your Salesforce instance)

 

Figure 3 (Swiftype’s browser extension populates results without disrupting your workflow)

 

Centering Your Website Design Around Site Search


Recently, I took a stroll through The WayBack Machine. Launched in 2001, The WayBack Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web, a veritable treasure trove of Internet information and oddities. Trust me when I say you will find some deliciously horrid early attempts at website design and user experience (UX).

Check out this Amazon screen grab from July, 2000. Yeesh, that’s bad.

Today (thankfully!), Amazon’s website looks like this:

And what do you see immediately upon landing on their site? Search. Big, bold. Upfront and up-top.

Considering a website redesign? You need to follow Amazon’s lead, no matter your industry. Here’s why:

The Evolution of Web Surfing

2017 is predicted to see more website traffic than in all other “internet years” combined! Gone are the days when a consumer would tolerate a website as poorly designed and laid out as the early Amazon one above. Today’s consumers want results, and they want them fast. They don’t want to waste time clicking through menus and drop-downs, which is why rich search capabilities are key.

Users today also expect to find easy-to-navigate search functionality on their mobile devices. Sixty five percent of mobile users say that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for, and expect, the most relevant information to pop up first.

When you mention search today, people immediately think of Google. But the last thing you want is for frustrated searchers to leave your site and head back to Google. If your search capabilities aren’t up to snuff, they will, and they probably won’t be back.

What Makes a Great Search Interface?

A search box is included in almost every web design, but it’s often overlooked or treated as an afterthought. Search makes it easier for users to find the content they’re looking for, as well as the content you want them to see. The search box’s design should support that exchange, be functional, easy to use, and accessible.

Equally as important, the right software powering your website’s search helps you gather information about your users, such as what product information they search for the most, which keywords or queries they are using, and an overall picture of their needs and their pain points.

Here are the top things to consider when designing and optimizing your website search:

Search Box Placement

Do your site visitors have to waste time searching for your search bar? That’s a big no-no. Position it front and center, and include a text bar and an icon (if possible). The ubiquitous “magnifying glass” icon is a great example. Make sure your “submit” button is big and bold, especially on mobile (avoid “fat thumb” syndrome wherever possible!)—and add your search bar to every page. Don’t hide search anywhere “below the fold” or in a navigation menu.

Search Design

Keep. It. Simple. We can’t stress this enough. Design should focus on the box itself and it should be clear how it functions. At its most basic, it should include a full open text field, title, action button and an obvious search trigger. Usability studies show that it is more user-friendly to not have advanced search options/features displayed by default, as they often only serve to confuse and frustrate users.

Search Functionality

An advanced search algorithm and language modeling functionality are the first things to look for. Your system should intuitively know what consumers are searching for using bigram matching, phrase matching, auto complete, and more. Filters on results page add another layer of functionality to your site search, allowing users to easily drill down to find exactly what they’re looking for.

On the backend, an intelligent site search solution should also have user-friendly dashboards that provide detailed analytics, making it easier for your teams to access—and act upon—the search data collected. A smart software will help you see that pattern so you can immediately update search results to keep visitors on your site—and not bouncing back to Google to find a competitor.

Your solution should allow you to:

  • Customize your search results
  • Add results for popular queries
  • Have the option to promote more relevant content, like higher margin products or the latest news stories
  • Control who can view what information and data
  • Integrate easily with your current tools

Your search bar is an essential tool in your digital toolbox and should be showcased both in design and function. If you would like to learn more about how Swiftype can help supercharge your site search capabilities, we would love to chat!

How Swiftype Uses Swiftype: Part 3 – Office Management

I’m Lauren, the Office Manager here at Swiftype. I love our Enterprise Search product because it’s useful for so many reasons. I use it consistently throughout my day to find information.

You’d be surprised at how quickly this office goes through food and coffee (…and beer). Though if you follow us on Instagram, maybe you wouldn’t find it so surprising. Everyone has different tastes and most people are pretty vocal about their preferences. We don’t have a formal order request system—people usually just Slack or email me their suggestions and comments. And believe me, they have a lot of opinions. The Enterprise Search web app allows me to quickly reference the requests I’ve received throughout the week before I place large orders for the office, without having to scroll through channels and individual messages.

We recently tapped our kegerator and as an office rule, the person who finishes it ceremoniously picks the next beer to be ordered. But this time around, the selection ended up being a pretty unpopular option (Tecate). The office was about to riot, so I created a poll to let the people decide. After a few hours, and what I’m sure was some voter intimidation, everyone finally agreed on a new option: Racer 5.

When I placed the order, I had to be absolutely certain that Racer 5 was the final winner over Tecate, so I just searched for “Racer 5” in my Enterprise Search web app and all of our Slack and Gmail conversations came up instantly. I was even able to see the poll I created in Slack without having to hunt through our company-wide general channel to find it. Racer 5 beat Tecate 11-9. We now have a keg full of Racer 5 for the win!

On a less alcoholic note, we also get lunch catered every Monday through Thursday by Zesty, and I always let people know what’s on the menu in advance. I put each week’s options into a spreadsheet and a surprising number of people access it daily to stay up-to-date. (I’m 90% sure the most-searched term on our Enterprise Search macOS app internally is actually “Zesty”.)

There are quite a few other processes I’m responsible for in the office, but one of the most important, is onboarding our new employees. We’re constantly looking for new talent, and have been fortunate to find some great people and continue to grow at a steady rate. As a result, I’ve had several new employees to onboard since I joined the team. Because we deal with some very sensitive and secure information, our onboarding procedures also have to follow the requirements outlined by our Security Officer. Our Enterprise Search product helps me uncomplicate this process a lot. We have a shared Confluence document outlining our onboarding processes, but they refer to a number of Jira tickets we have set up, as well as Google Docs, Dropbox files, Slack channels, and more. Not all of the docs are included in the Confluence post, so without Enterprise Search I would still have to do a fair amount of searching through other applications to find the right files. Fortunately the Browser Extension shows me all related onboarding content without me having to hunt through each of our apps individually.

The process looks something like this:

  1. Email our Security Officer to give him a heads up that we’re adding someone new to our database.
  2. Add the new person to our HR database sheet in Google Docs.
  3. Create a new Jira ticket for the new user. Usually I can do this from a template we already have, which is already populated in the Swiftype Browser Extension, so all I have to do is click on the result to go directly to the Jira ticket template.
  4. Conduct a background check—these are housed in a repository that very few people actually have access to. But Enterprise Search uses my credentials and knows exactly which folders I can access and which I can’t so all the background check documents are populated in my Browser Extension.
  5. Set up corporate accounts for the new employee—like Gmail and Slack. Once I set them up in our Google Accounts Directory, Enterprise Search can use that information to populate their contact details, and read them as a user in our organization instead of a lead.
  6. Print out the employee handbook for them. This lives in Dropbox, at the end of a tree of folders. Instead of having to go into Dropbox and click through every single folder, I can run a quick search for “employee handbook” in the MacOS app and find it instantly.

Once all of this is complete, I can hand off the onboarding process to Finance, Tech Ops, and the new employee’s hiring manager, knowing they have everything they need for a smooth first day.

My responsibilities at Swiftype are diverse, span multiple teams, and often need to be completed as quickly as possible. Using Swiftype Enterprise Search everyday helps me stay on top of all of my to-dos by giving me immediate access to all the information and tools I need to get the job done. Instead of wasting time searching for the right documents in dozens of different apps, I can find everything instantly!

Try it for yourself – you can sign up for a free trial here!

Set Your Web Developers Free with Better Enterprise Search

David Walsh is a Senior Software Engineer and evangelist for Mozilla. He also runs a wildly popular eponymous blog for web developers, where he writes about topics ranging from how to create GitHub pull requests to reviews of web hosting services. In a recent post, David detailed his evaluation and implementation of a third-party website search alternative, which you can read here. During his evaluation, however, David discovered the vendor’s enterprise search solution and shared his thoughts.

The Cloud Means (Tricky) Business

The explosion of cloud-based apps and storage solutions is nothing new. Everyone, from retailers to media companies and governments to healthcare organizations, have made the move to the cloud. It’s become so prevalent that it’s no longer a trend, it’s just how things are now done.

However, what the cloud has done, which David so eloquently stated in his quote above, is make it incredibly easy to save content without ever thinking about it’s actual location.

Yeah, it gets tricky fast. In fact, ZDNet wrote that “the average medium- to large-sized business is actually using between 300 and 400 cloud apps.” That’s incredible, and incredibly daunting if you’re trying to find something — or if you’re a developer.

Where did I see that thing about that stuff?

Enterprise search is a fairly recent need, and the prevalence of cloud-based apps makes it even more of a strategic corporate imperative. Enterprise developers are ultimately on the hook, since search is the key to helping every employee work smarter and faster.

In David’s post, he points the finger at the proliferation of these specialized web services for making enterprise search such a bear. Just your marketing team alone might be using Slack, Dropbox, Marketo, Salesforce, and Zendesk. And people today are more likely to just assume search will help them find what they’re seeking. Alexa, where’s the sales development plan for western Pennsylvania?

If only it were that easy!

So, yes, as you’re now considering all the apps your company uses (and that you’re aware of!), you’re likely echoing David’s words: “Where the hell do we find anything?”

Make Search Your Enterprise Productivity Accelerator

As with most technical tasks, implementing enterprise search likely falls to departmental teams initially. Sales Operations or Marketing Operations might take the lead for their teams, but then IT should ultimately get involved. It is enterprise search, after all. And, it is a shortcut to helping employees work faster and smarter.

For developers, working faster and smarter means removing the burden of enterprise search foundational tasks, like API configurations. That’s where a good enterprise search solution saves huge amounts of time and budget compared with trying to develop a search solution on your own.

Packaged enterprise search solutions let you choose from dozens of prebuilt connectors to speed and simplify a comprehensive enterprise search. If a pre-built connector isn’t available, APIs should enable you to create a secure and unique endpoint in just a few clicks. It should be that easy. Enterprise search vendors put their R&D dollars and efforts into making search easier to implement, configure, and administer, and you reap the rewards!

As you look for a vendor, there are two key productivity outcomes of a good enterprise search solution. Your first goal is to help employees quickly find what they need, which increases productivity. Your second goal is giving developers get more control and more productivity for themselves by choosing a search that’s both easier to configure and provides better results for employees.

Solve for Search, then Move On

IT and operations developers struggle to appease the demands of a wide range of internal customers, from sales, service, content, and marketing teams trying to drive revenue and please customers to executives, finance, auditors, and others trying to run the business. But the nirvana of enterprise search hits smack into the reality of integrating dozens and dozens of local and cloud repositories.

While you can build your own custom enterprise search, it’s never going to be as good as a commercial search solution designed to work out-of-the-box with hundreds of existing cloud and SaaS solutions.

“Instead of rolling your own search,” as David put it in his blog post, take a look at some of the available alternatives. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find, and you might be shocked that the best solution for you doesn’t come from one of the giants who are synonymous with “search.”

Want to learn more about Swiftype Enterprise Search? Watch this video for a quick overview or connect with our team if you’d like to chat live.

Swiftype Through the Eyes of an Intern 👀

Hi, I’m Kara! I am a marketing intern here at Swiftype.

July 12 marked one full month of working as a marketing intern at Swiftype and it has been a very rewarding month, to say the least. This isn’t your typical internship where you show up to work begrudgingly expecting to be at your desk twirling your thumbs all day; or pick up coffee for your supervisor; or simply record minutes at meetings.

To be honest, it has been the complete opposite of that here at Swiftype. I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona on June 11 and flew back that night, then started the very next morning on June 12. I have basically been ambushed with a significant workload since Day 1. (Note: I definitely painted Swiftype as an evil company, but I promise it is not as vile as I make it sound. I was actually excited to start.)

The excitement wasn’t for nothing. Swiftype has far surpassed my expectations. Even though I’ve only been in this seat for one month, Swiftype has already brought me so much knowledge about marketing, tech startups, and marketing at tech startups. Every single person in the office strongly believes in the power of our products and care about my future career. I am very hands-on with projects — including assisting with advertising on podcasts, creating social media posts (and this blog), finding leads and sorting them in Salesforce, monitoring the website using Google Analytics and Moz, creating emails in Marketo, etc — and can confidently say that I contribute to the success of Swiftype. The company has done a great job in marrying personal growth and responsibility into this internship position. Not an easy feat.

Working at Swiftype is not all hard work. I genuinely enjoy coming into the office everyday because of the collaborative atmosphere, beautiful office and view, thrill of a new sale, wall filled with snacks, catered breakfast and lunch, and random Nerf gun bullets flying over my head. Not to mention last Thursday, which was my first Happy Hour/Game Night at the office. There was light hearted music and laughter yet cutthroat rivalry from the company-wide shuffleboard tournament, which more-or-less reflects the company persona.

Swiftype is truly an incredible company and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to begin my marketing career here.

Think you’d be a great fit for the Swiftype team? Check out our openings and let us know if there’s a position that’s perfect for you!

The Heat is On for Software Developers: Enterprise Search Can Help

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.

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