4 Strategies for Managing Software Developers More Effectively

Published on February 25, 2022

Software developers are highly skilled in what they do. Therefore, more proficient management techniques are required to ensure that their skills are optimized fully. 

Though employment in software development is forecasted to rise over the next decade, the truth is that there are not enough skilled workers to fill these positions. Companies are struggling to recruit for existing positions already, and things will likely worsen before 2030 arrives. 

Therefore, the software developers you have now, or that you soon recruit, need to be held onto tightly. Part of retaining these talents means revisiting your management techniques and making improvements where possible. 

How can you improve how you manage software developers? Read some of the tips below that might give you some direction. 

Save Them Time

Because software developers are highly skilled professionals, not every task is wholly worth their time and effort. You should try to find ways to save them time so that they can focus on big-picture responsibilities. 

There are a handful of ways you can do this. For instance, you can greatly reduce the need for meetings and digitize much of the software developer’s paperwork. Though you may only be saving them seconds or minutes a day, it will all accumulate into a substantial amount of time by the end of the week or month.  

Your team could also use this application testing resource from ForAllSecure to automate maintenance and security needs. It is called Mayhem, and its use allows developers to focus on developing new software and features within it. The testing happens continuously and silently over numerous layers, allowing the building of more reliable software and giving your firm a competitive advantage. 

Be Comfortable Relinquishing Control

Some business leaders may assume that they know better than their employees on certain matters. However, this consensus can often be far from the truth when it comes to software developers. 

Any task you give to a software developer should be discussed before starting the work. In some situations, they may have ideas on doing things more efficiently or cost-effectively. Put simply, they know what they’re talking about and likely won’t respond well to abrupt and unrealistic orders. 

Embrace the humbling experience that can come with interacting with developers. Be open about your lack of knowledge on the more technical side of things if you don’t share their background. This will build trust and respect between you and your developers. Remember, bad bosses are considered partly responsible for worker shortages, so the more kind and respectful you can be, the better. 

If you were a developer yourself, appreciate that work processes may have changed since you occupied a similar role. After all, technology is always surging forward, as are business politics, trading conditions, and the overall economy. Ultimately, everything about the job could have changed since you were in their shoes, so try to be a good listener. 

Optimize Software Requirements Specifications 

As you can likely guess from the last heading, software developers do not like to be micromanaged. Instead, they are problem solvers, with many even going freelance for maximum creative freedom in their roles. 

Keep this in mind when presenting them with software requirements specifications. Though it should be detailed enough to know what they are doing, there should be blanks that they can fill in themselves. Set the endgame objective they need to reach from the outset. However, when it comes to how they get there, you should make it clear that they can test the waters themselves. 

Technical fields are often assumed to be extremely linear, but software development is a creative career path. These professionals succeed by trial and error, as all great innovators do. Give them some wiggle room to try new approaches to their work, and you may just facilitate more exciting results in the process. 

Of course, with more flexible software requirement specifications, your development team will surely be more stimulated in their work. They may feel energized and more compelled to work as part of a unit, knowing that their ideas and interpretations of things are welcome. 

Help Them Belong

Tech staff often have their own rooms or floors in a commercial building so that they can focus. Unfortunately, some mean-spirited individuals also stereotype these types of workers as awkward or anti-social.  

If these attitudes are not addressed, there is a danger your firm could segregate into factions. Your developers need to coordinate with other departments in your business effectively; marketing strategists, content creators, graphic designers, animators, etc. To do this well, they need to be part of the culture and establish meaningful working relationships at every level of the business.  

Of course, your software development team is important not only as professionals but also as people. Your development team will be much happier in their roles when they belong and establish friendships. Be sure to invite them to staff social events and get to know them as individuals. Encourage others in your company to do the same. 

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