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Software Development In The Digital Workspace

Sitaram Sharma By Sitaram Sharma | June 4, 2021

More than a year of Coronavirus – Work From Home is here to stay!

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been raging around the world for more than a year now, affecting all walks of life. But as the famous saying goes – Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less – In the light of the current situation, people are changing their lifestyles and behaviours to stay safe, albeit with multiple restrictions. 

The corporate world is no exception. The stereotypical workplace environment that revolved around a 9 to 5 schedule, desk-bound employees and distressing technology has been redirected to new technological solutions to enable a safe, resilient and productive work environment.    

There has been a massive shift in work culture across the globe. The crisis has led to an unprecedented acceleration of technology adoption across businesses and organizations. Consequently, digital transformation that was once being adopted for improved efficiencies, has now become a means of survival for both IT and non-IT organizations.    

Read | Impact of digital technology on businesses during the pandemic 

Technology has been changing the definitions of the workplace by letting us adopt the advantages of the digital workplace. However, the transition away from traditional office culture has not been the same for everyone.

The freelancers and gig economy patrons are in the habit of remote working, software developers, among other teams, have been working in collaboration with each other since the beginning of their job roles.  

According to the conversations with tech leaders, though software engineers find no commute good, always working alone is bad. Also, since the entire process requires the designers, developers and testers to work closely together, it can get frustrating at times to manage everything from home.

What Brought Around this Shift for Software Developers?

It has been a year of distance working, zoom meetings, flexible working hours, virtual meetups, ditching the nine-to-six routine and freedom to work from home, the beach or anywhere else.

Coronavirus-induced pandemic has made it mandatory for the employees and developers to stay within the walls of their homes and adapt to the remote workspace lifestyle whether they like it or not.

According to the article by TechRepublic, remote employees say this working style has reduced the stress of commuting (77%), provided the ability to work from wherever they want to live (75%) as well as care for children or family members (56%). 

However, the unforeseeable distancing due to work from home for software developers has developed the need to see colleagues even for the most introverted professionals.

Also Read | How to choose the right transport management software?

The remote work has become a double-edged sword with flexibility and autonomy on one side and isolation from colleagues and Zoom fatigue on the other’, says Bo Lane, vice president of Global Engineering at Kudelski Security.

He adds, ‘Many developers find themselves struggling to strike the right work-life balance, so morale and burnout are definitely signs we look for.’ 

Companies like Slack and Twitter have told their employees that they can work from home forever as per their will. But the impacts of remote working have been concerning for many.

Challenges for Software Developers Working Remotely

We agree that working from home can be appealing – No commute time, no dress code, no restrictions and no in-person supervision. However, the statistics discussed above show how working remotely can present some significant and unique work-associated challenges.

Though the presence of tools and platforms to enable real-time collaboration are doing a great job in streamlining the process, WFH poses some challenges that can affect the productivity of remote software teams.

Listed below are some of the common reasons for failure in remote software teams and the tips and tricks to fix them:

#1. Communication Bottlenecks

Virtual communication has become the new normal for software development. Remote working is proven to improve team productivity, save thousands of dollars that are spent on workplace operation and maintenance, enhance satisfaction levels as well as bring several other benefits to a company. However, poor communication is among the biggest roadblocks in a remote software team.

“Frequent communication is the key to optimum collaboration when working remotely and has the power to prevent teams from falling into silos.”

– Rahul Varshneya, Co-Founder and President, Arkenea

Without clear, lucid and to the point communication  – a remote team might struggle to function optimally. If your team is also sensing a lack of structure and communication gap, the members should communicate more frequently, provide regular updates about allocated tasks and ask for clarification when necessary to eliminate misinterpretations and fluffs. 

In case there is a complex task and a brief explanation is needed, go for video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Meet. Engage in real-time face-to-face interactions that facilitate better and easy understanding.

We, at Appventurez, schedule frequent virtual meetups with both our development team and the client to make sure that everyone stays on the same page. 

#2. Technical Blocks

Remote teams have to rely on technology as their constant beck and call to ensure the smooth running of operations. Hence, poor technology and an unreliable internet connection can hamper and make it difficult for a remote team to wrap things up.

Why add technology and software to your business arsenal? Investing in comprehensive technical setups can support the operations of distributed teams during these difficult times. 

Today, there are n-number of tools tailored according to your business’ needs that are known to centralize communications and make remote work easy and seamless. 

[We have shared the tools that are proven to smoothen the process for software developers and teams working remotely later in this blog.

At Appventurez, we leverage the advantages of Slack and Google Hangouts to exchange communication, task management and a sync collaboration.

#3. Feeling of Isolation

As mentioned previously, working remotely in a software engineering team is fun as the time used for commuting can be used for extra sleep or exercise, nothing beats the home comfort and ability to work from wherever your heart desires. But, the concept also eliminates social interactions making the teammates feel lonely and disconnected.

According to a study in the year 2018, 21% of employees and freelancers feel that social isolation does impact motivation and cause struggle with working remotely. 

If you are feeling isolated, it’s important to make time for human interaction i.e. connect with your colleagues and friends, attend a social event or visit a friend (following the safety protocols).

Companies should organize virtual meetups once in a while and employees should be encouraged to attend as such occasions promote team bonding and can ward off loneliness to some extent. Promote conversation outside work – check how they are spending their weekend, how are their families doing or did they pick up any new habit. This will enhance your relationship with the employees and build affinity within the team.

Also Read | Remote working from home

how should devops adapt to the new normal

#4. Interruptions & Distractions

Interruptions and distractions are often unavoidable when working remotely. For example, during a video call, you might hear a colleague’s kid cry, ringing the doorbell, getting non-work related calls/texts, spending time on social media, caring for pets or dealing with neighbourhood sounds.

And let’s accept it – Our home is filled with comforts that can be quite tempting to not indulge in. Let’s say you had a not-so-good interaction with a client or management. If you are in the office, you have to deal with it somehow and get on with your workday but when you are working from home, you can take a pause and distract yourself to freshen up your mind.

There are many ways you can reduce distractions and prevent interruptions – such as putting your phone on silent, turning off unwanted notifications, designating a working space among others. You can also consider using noise cancellation headphones or listening to relaxing music while you work depending on your particular situation.

#5. Onboarding of New Team Members

Though there are a lot of benefits of remote jobs for developers, introducing new developers to a large codebase (software components and systems) requires a lot of hard work and time. It gets difficult and time-taking for the new joiners to sync the code pieces if the right documentation is not provided. Code reviews get more difficult in a remote environment. Plus, remote working adds to the complexity, especially when working with a remote manager or dealing with a client. 

How to take care of such a situation? The solution comes down to writing clean codes that follow the industry standards. Detailed documentation should be followed at every stage of the app development process. Moreover, since ‘over the shoulder’ reviews aren’t possible, follow a stringent approach to facilitate code reviews via a tool before a new code can be committed.

Furthermore, for enterprises, who are just starting out, here is a guide to enterprise app development challenges and the best practices.

Remote software teams can create great products and help a company grow hugely. With good remote practices, good technology and the right processes, a team of any size can avoid some common WFH pitfalls and build top-notch technical products.

Tools that Smoothen the Process for Software Developers Working Remotely

A good employer knows how important it is to finish a project within the deadline and also keep the team members happy side by side. Because a happy employee is equal to a productive employee that equals successful projects.

All this is possible only if you are willing to use software for assistance. These tools can help you manage, organize and execute things without getting your team to burn out.

tools to make remote collaboration

Trust us – We are saying this based on our personal experience. These tools will enable a smooth remote workflow and your team will be happy to provide them with the proper apps/tools to work with. When provided in tandem with thoughtful work norms and guidelines and work norms, these tools can go a long way toward developing and reducing employee uncertainty that usually revolves around cultural norms and expectations when working remotely.

Do you happen to know any other remote working tools that are useful? Let us know in the comment section below.

Top Trends of Software Development in Pandemic

The coronavirus-induced pandemic has greatly impacted the software development space. The sudden switch to remote working witnessed a rise in cutting-edge technologies.

Enterprises accelerated their technology roadmaps to get a hang of sudden shifts and operate in a digital environment. So, every tech professional understands how important it is to follow the latest industry trends to stay afloat. 

2020 saw an unprecedented rise for the Software Development industry with several tangible breakthroughs in many areas. And the continuation can be seen in 2021 as well.

Below you can find the top software development trends that are and will be dominating the year ahead. 

#1. Cloud Computing

According to IT Portal, ‘The global pandemic leveraged the interest of using clouds for processing and storage of data.’ Cloud has been embraced by both startups and businesses and the majority of important processes today are being run in clouds.

The key reason why the Cloud has become one of the most prominent software development trends is that it makes computing easier, offers greater productivity of the development process, lower costs of new projects and decreased expenditures on project maintenance.

At this point, almost all global firms (Google, Amazon, Microsoft) have invested in this technology and are enabling cloud computing to businesses.

If you can’t decide between Cloud apps or Web apps, here’s a guide on cloud apps vs web apps

#2. Low code/No code development

Low code/no code (LCNC) programming has become a must for businesses as it offers the ability to keep going with new initiatives. This type of programming is perfect for those with no development background. They can build databases and low-scale applications to support agile operations.

LCNC is fast, intuitive, cuts down development cost and a great option to build powerful applications without manual coding. So you see non-tech companies can benefit heavily from low-code or no-code technology solutions. The software can be used for both website and application development.

Low-code/no-code will only continue to rise in popularity. The history of computing is building higher-level abstractions away from the zeroes and ones—from yesterday’s assembly languages and compiled software to today’s modern low-code/no-code solutions. Through these solutions, businesses can move forward in their digital transformation without a technical resource at every step. 

– David Karandish, Capacity

The LCNC tools and platforms are becoming more and more common and are expected to continue beyond 2021. Follow this guide to build your next startup with the best no-code apps and tools.

#3. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Google (who originated and popularized the concept) defines PWAs as ‘A Progressive Web

App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.’

A progressive web app does exactly what it says. It is a web page/website that has a look

and feels like a native mobile app. It allows access to key native features such as Push notifications, offline support and installing the app on the home screen.

Reliable, responsive, discoverable, secure, linkable and engaging is the terminology that runs

through the veins of Progressive Web Apps. Progressive web apps are widely used in the

web industry. Uber, Twitter, Lyft, Tinder, Pinterest, Gmail and MakeMyTrip are a number of

PWA which is quite popular. Some of its benefits include:

  • They are comparatively inexpensive to build.
  • There is no need to go through the process to get into different app stores. PWA lets users install the app directly from the web. Progressive web apps support popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc.
  • Apps built are fast, smooth and lightweight.
  • Apps are responsive and work easily on a different device

The amalgamation of advanced low-code technologies and PWA usage is paving the way for top-notch cross-platform applications.

#4. Edge Computing

Cloud computing is not the only computing innovation that will thrive in 2021. Another popular software development trend and type of computing is Edge computing that moves the data to the edge of the local network, allowing users to use the software both online and offline. 

key benefits of edge computing

Moreover, according to the statistics, ‘Edge computing is predicted to rise 28 times from 2018 to 2025.’ 

Blockchain, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality-Virtual Reality are among the top development trends that will continue to power businesses. Need help with the implementation? Appventurez offers software development and testing services where we stay abreast with the current shifts in software development trends. We assess your business needs and provide you with disruptive solutions that meet your needs.  

How Appventurez can Help you with Customised Software Development?

Will the new normal be there after COVID? Absolutely! There are sure to be degrees of change in all areas and some things might even see larger shifts.

The pandemic has changed the way we work and socialize and these are the major areas that are most likely to continue to see shifts as we readjust. Hence, if you haven’t been making the most of the new normal, it’s time to straighten your back and get started on it.

The wins of remote work and new digital capacities offer the opportunity to cut down on costs and skyrocket productivity for companies. So if you wish to build your seamless remote working strategy or require particular software to smoothen things up and allow teams to collaborate from anywhere flexibly, Appventurez can help.

We are the leading mobile app development company that is known for its remarkable and out-of-the-box innovation. Our unique work approach has helped businesses not only sail but also scale through these tough times.

Get in touch with us!

Sitaram Sharma
Sitaram Sharma

Co-Founder and VP Mobile Architect of Appventurez. A software professional who is highly experienced in Android, Flutter, React Native. He is a passionate developer with excellent programming skill who believes in bridging the technology gap and making the life of a large number of people much easier through his wide knowledge and experience.

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