27 February, 2021

Our series “Software development in 2021 and beyond” continues with its fourth article! Our last topic tomorrow will be about scaling-out with open source and with low-code solutions, and how to continue to build, grow, and learn.

Today’s topic will be related to the inclusive and supportive team cultures and human-centered developer tools

The Microsoft team has been advocates for human-centered design ever since its beginning. This method helps their team to create lifesaving solutions using community co-creation and Customer-Driven Playbook for building developers’ tools. The process starts with an open-ended inquiry to figure out where exactly developers are experiencing pain-points. While talking with development team members we can see how much they are eager to collaborate and learn from each other in pair-programming, mentoring, defining component boundaries, and debugging.

Over the past decade, there have been some challenges in building social capital– the type of connection with a colleague that makes it easier to overcome challenges together, because teams are now more distributed. Оther crucial pointс are building the right team culture and encouraging team communication, normalizing asking for help, and making it a priority for previous employees to support onboarding. The conclusion from last year is that connection and bonding are very important elements if we want to be successful at the workplace. Because of that in the next few years, we will see an emerging need for human-centered coding experiences.

Human-centered coding can help individuals learn about their colleague’s habits, coding styles, practices, and knowledge while also providing them with high-bandwidth optimized tools for collaboration like Visual Studio Live Share. Human-centered coding also means bringing external human perspectives into your individual process which requires engagement with other users and developers for feedback and input.

As the Open-source Lead  Sarah Novotny says:

Success in open source is just as much about your own contributions to the community as it is about what you learn from the community.” 

This has always been a tenet of open source, and we’re now seeing it apply to product development at large. Microsoft promises that the work across companies and industries will continue in 2021 and beyond so we are all looking forward to learning, growing, and earning our place in open-source communities.

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