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Engineering Analytics

4 Data-Driven Moves Every Tech Leads Should Make To Scale Their Engineering Organization

Arnaud Lachaume
Arnaud LachaumeLink to author's LinkedIn profile
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July 20, 2022
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6
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The data driven way to build a technical organisation

In order for technical leaders to be effective, they need data-driven insights. Turning data into knowledge is the key to success for any organization, and that starts with the tech lead. Data can help leaders understand their customers, identify opportunities, optimize operations and make better decisions. Leaders who are data-driven are able to move their organizations forward because they have a systemic understanding of how things work and how data can be leveraged to improve different areas.

In this article, we will highlight 4 data-driven moves technical leaders should make to scale their organization successfully including:

  • Using data to hire and retain software engineers
  • Building a culture of data-driven decision making
  • Implementing the right tools and processes to foster a data-driven engineering culture
  • Leveraging insights to celebrate engineering success

Let’s dive in!

Using data to hire and retain software engineers

The war for talent is heating up, and companies are starting to use data to hire and retain software engineers. The US bureau of labor statistics study on the US software engineering workforce found that the number of software engineering jobs is expected to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030 - much faster than average. The demand for software engineers is currently outstripping the supply, so companies are using data to find the best candidates.

Data can be used to identify which skills are in high demand, and then target candidates with those skills. LinkedIn also found that companies that use data to hire and retain software engineers are more likely to be successful. 

By now, most companies are aware of the value of data when it comes to hiring, but what about retention? Data can be used to optimize and improve retention in a number of ways.

First, by analyzing development stack data, you could determine what factors lead to staff turnover. If you’re able to pinpoint what’s causing people to leave your organization, you can take proactive steps to ensure that those things don’t happen again. Additionally, by keeping tabs on employee retention rates, you can identify trends in your company’s workforce. For example, if you notice that you’re losing engineers at a higher rate than other departments, you can take steps to resolve the issue.

Most of the time, high turnover in the developers group stems from frustration accumulating with time, and an increasing feeling for engineers that they are ‘firemen’, spending their time tackling emergencies rather than working in a consistent, thoughtful manner. If periods of rush and general push are perfectly understandable - and expected - making ‘work by urgency’ the norm can lead to fatigue, discouragement and in the end, your best teammates give up and leave to find a more peaceful and organized work environment. 

Allowing engineers to use a development assistant dashboard could help them identify bottlenecks, unbalanced workloads or areas of opportunities and improvement. This in turn can help identify causes of frustration and put in place remediation plans. 

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Building a culture of data-driven decision-making

Data-driven decision-making is key to success in any software engineering organization. The culture of data-driven decision-making begins with leadership, and it is important for leaders to set an example by making decisions based on data. Leaders need to be open to hearing about how data can be used to improve the organization.

Based on the organization goals and maturity, the tech leaders could start with a software delivery dashboard to track the overall performance and with a software quality insights dashboard to pinpoint process improvements leading to a better product quality and ultimately less technical debt.

Once the leadership has established a culture of data-driven decision-making, it is important for managers to pass down that culture to their team members. Managers should encourage team members to use data to make decisions and help them understand how data can be used to improve their work and grow their careers. Both a development assistant dashboard and a sprint overview dashboard could help.

Data-driven culture is one of the hottest topics today. Data-driven culture is a way of working that is driven by data, metrics, and facts. It is a culture in which software engineers are encouraged to think analytically, to make decisions based on evidence. In a data-driven culture, software engineers are transparent about their work and results. They share metrics and data across teams, so that everyone can learn from each other. It is also a culture in which everyone takes ownership of the product. Everyone takes pride in the product and features delivery and quality and feels accountable when things go wrong. Data-driven cultures are also focused on continuous improvement. They are always looking for ways to improve their processes and the product they deliver. In a data-driven culture, software engineers act as owners of the product and take responsibility for their work. They use data to make decisions and to understand the impact their work has on the company. A data-driven culture encourages software engineers to be innovative and creative with the use of data.

Implementing the right tools and processes to foster a data-driven engineering culture

Data-driven software engineering culture is a prerequisite for success these days. It ensures that the right data is collected, processed and used to make better decisions. 

In recent years, data has become a major part of the tech industry. It is used to enhance every aspect of the work that software engineers do. Data is being used in everything from product design to business strategy and customer analytics.

Data-driven software engineering is more than just collecting and analyzing data. It involves the implementation of the right tools and processes to foster a data-driven culture within your organization, from product development to operations.

Indeed, to maintain a competitive edge, organizations must implement the right tools and processes to foster a data-driven software engineering culture. Key considerations include:

  • An integrated approach to data management that provides fast, easy access to all of your data sources
  • An intuitive interface for end-users that allows them to explore and visualize their data in real-time

At its core, a data-driven culture is about empowering software engineers with the right tools and processes to make informed decisions. With these fundamentals in place, organizations can start leveraging their data to make smarter decisions with confidence.

With tools like Keypup, you can seamlessly connect your git repositories and project management tools to unify development stack data and start your data-driven engineering organization without data engineering hassle.

Leveraging insights to celebrate engineering success

Software engineering is a difficult and challenging role. It requires great dedication and commitment from the individual and the team. To have a successful career in this field, it is important to be recognized and rewarded for the hard work and dedication that you put in. However, many times, the compensation that a software engineer receives is not directly related to the amount of effort and dedication that they have put in. This is where data could play a critical role in the development process. data could be used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of a software engineering team.

Data is the currency of software engineering success. Accurate, timely, relevant data can inform business decisions, optimize resource allocation, and minimize risk by giving teams the information they need to make well-informed decisions. While it’s important for all teams to be data-driven, this is particularly crucial for software engineering teams. With the rapid pace of innovation in today’s digital landscape, software engineers must be able to quickly adapt to changing business needs and customer requirements. In order to do that, they need access to reliable data that can quickly and accurately tell them what’s working and what isn’t. Without accurate data, it’s impossible to measure success or make informed decisions. And if you can’t accurately measure success, it’s impossible to celebrate it!

It’s no longer enough to simply talk about data-driven decision making. It must be implemented. Every day more and more businesses are using data to make better decisions. Tech leaders should implement processes and tools to make data collection and analysis easy and efficient. Then, they should make sure that the team is properly trained on how to use data in their day to day operations so that it can have a positive impact on the company’s growth. If tech leaders aren’t data-driven, then the company will be at a risk of failure. They will hardly identify opportunities and make better business decisions. Data isn’t the only way to go about making better decisions of course. It is necessary, but not sufficient. Tech leaders need to implement other strategies such as building a culture of data-driven decision making, implementing the right tools and processes, and celebrating engineering successes as well. It is key to have a systematic approach to data-driven decision making to be successful. And you, how do you foster a data-driven software engineering culture? Tell us via Twitter!