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Methods to Shorten Developer Feedback Loops for Productivity

Developer Feedback Loops

How do you shorten developer feedback loops to improve overall productivity at your organization? We offer a few suggestions. Read on!

Whether you work as a developer for a large enterprise or as part of a small team, the time it takes to get feedback on your code can affect your productivity. Nobody likes a long feedback loop—the delay between actions and reactions is increased, and this makes the team frustrated and demotivated. The shorter the feedback loop, the better.

The developer feedback loop is one of the essential parts of any software development process. It’s not just about getting feedback on your code—it’s about getting the right kind of feedback at the right time. A short feedback loop means developers can make changes and immediately see the results, which means they can iterate quickly and keep the product moving forward.

But how do you shorten that feedback loop? Here are a few steps:

Adopt a standard set of documentation for all projects, including code repositories.

Documentation is a critical part of the development process. It should be written by technical writers who regularly keep in sync with the developers and understand the product itself, and it should be stored in the same place as the code, easy to find and easy to use. The documentation should be in a standard format so that people don’t have to learn new documentation systems each time they switch projects or companies. 

Developers don’t want to wait for an extended time before they can validate if a local code change works, get answers to an internal technical query, or even become productive on a new team. Well-written documentation can help developers get the necessary validation without waiting in a long feedback loop.


Use correct tooling.

Finding a newer or more complex tool solution isn’t the answer to shortening your developer feedback loop. Instead, it’s about using the correct toolset in the first place, which consists of tools that are typically simple to use and require little cognitive effort, thereby enhancing the developer experience.

Once you’ve made sure that your developers have the right tools for finding bugs, you need to ensure that those tools are being used effectively. This means setting up automated tests so that every time a developer makes a change, there’s an automated test that checks whether it worked as expected. That way, developers can get feedback quickly. 

If you’re working on a large project with many developers, as is often the case with larger companies or corporations, then you will want to use tools like JIRA and Trello. These tools are specifically designed for managing projects across teams of developers, so they can help you streamline communication, and team members can quickly get validation on their work. Additionally, it keeps everything organized.

Employ the Agile process.

Agile development is a process that uses short cycles of development and constant feedback to create software. One of the most effective ways to shorten your developer feedback loop is to insist on short iterations.

For example, instead of making large changes and then seeing how they work out, you can make small changes instead. This way, you’ll be able to make modifications faster.

To shorten the developer feedback loop, companies can use Agile development processes like Scrum. These processes involve creating small teams of developers working on one project at a time and completing project tasks in small increments. This means that developers can quickly find the root cause of a bug or validate that a change was helpful to the customer. 

Establish and adopt a consistent, central status repository.

Establish and adopt a consistent, central status repository. This can be in the form of a shared spreadsheet that lives in Google Drive or on a third-party project management tool like Jira. The key to success is ensuring everyone has access to this repository and uses it consistently. 

A central status repository allows you to track progress from multiple angles: by feature (or “story”), by person, by issue or bug report number, or by component/module/feature set. It also provides opportunities for sharing best practices across teams; if one team finds an effective way of doing something (like deployment to AWS or setting up a Docker container), they can add an entry describing their approach and how well it worked!

Shorten Developer Feedback Loops – Conclusion

Overall, the ability to shorten feedback loops will reduce project scope and cycle time. This can make your project more manageable, reduce development costs and shorten the time it takes to go from concept to product. If you are looking for ways to improve your process and take advantage of shorter feedback loops, a wide variety of tools can help with everything from communication (Slack) to testing (TestRail). Consider choices that will help you streamline these tasks to get more done in less time.

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