Organizational culture impacts the success of every company and determines the approach taken by each team. Building the right culture in your software engineering company is essential because individuals make up your teams — even if you deal with codes — and the company environment directly influences team members’ work ethic and workplace experience.
Good culture and community at any enterprise attract top talent. This approach allows a company to have skilled and invaluable team members who will bring diverse and innovative ideas that move the organization forward.
Team culture promotes collective effort and cooperation between team members.
The New Stack’s coverage of this topic looks at how cultural forces positively or negatively influence cloud-native computing, DevOps, and other modern information technology practices.
5 Steps to Creating a Software Engineering Team Culture
Creating an influential organizational culture is not limited to the software development industry. However, our coverage focuses on how to improve a software development company structure and other guiding workplace culture principles.
Here are 5 steps to follow when building a progressive software company culture:
Grow your current culture. Building an excellent corporate culture doesn’t mean that the existing culture is negative. Bearing the company’s direction in mind, leaders can carry out an audit and retain certain aspects of the current culture. An audit will highlight areas of improvement and parts of the company’s culture that are not progressive.
Communicate value. Now more than ever, people are looking to find meaning behind anything they do, especially at work. Helping team members see the value behind their work and the company’s overall objectives promotes job satisfaction. Communicating value can influence the effort and zeal of the entire staff.
Promote positivity. A good software company culture centers around positivity. Leaders should encourage employees to use positive language, express gratitude, respect others and exhibit these traits.
Create goals. Setting goals helps all teams have specific short-term and long-term objectives and a clear company direction. Without goals, team members and even company leaders do not work towards anything. Leaders should work with team members and develop SMART goals that move the company forward.
Pay attention to health. Mental, emotional, and physical fitness is vital to the success of any company. When team members feel valued and can see that leaders are concerned about their well-being, their productivity is likely to increase, positively impacting the organization.
Benefits of Adopting a DevOps Culture
DevOps combines practices, tools, and processes that enable an organization to achieve goals by integrating development and operation teams. Fostering a strong DevOps culture helps to improve the software development life cycle because it eliminates long lead times.
Benefits of adopting a DevOps culture in your software engineering company include:
Increased efficiency. A DevOps culture promotes technological devices that save time and increase efficiency among team members. DevOps automation culture identifies bugs and other issues with code and enables developers to carry out hotfixes and rollbacks.
Job satisfaction. Instead of a rule-based or power-based culture, one of the DevOps core principles is to take a performance-based approach. This approach allows employees to improve and utilize their skills resulting in a better workforce. Software companies can invest in their staff by offering them industry-recognized DevOps training. Giving employees opportunities to develop their skills helps to increase their job satisfaction.
Reduced risk of failure. Another DevOps core principle is fast and frequent software releases. Using the DevOps approach in development and deployment, teams can reduce the risk of outright crashes as changes are made quickly to issues detected in the software. The DevOps methodology ensures that development and operation teams are involved in the product life cycle. DevOps core principles reduce communication gaps between concerned teams and minimize the risk of product failure.
Collaboration. Rather than placing focus on individual team achievements and goals, a DevOps culture ensures that development and operation teams work together to achieve their goals. This approach promotes efficiency and cooperation. It also enhances the development atmosphere and software company culture.
Easier recovery from unsuccessful deployments. The DevOps methodology reduces the change failure rate to about 15% or less and helps teams recover from failure faster. When the required code changes can be made within one unit, solutions can be implemented quickly. Delay is reduced as fixes do not need to pass through the software company’s employee hierarchy. Teams can work in small increments and implement strategies such as trunk-based developments and test automation. This approach helps the department recover faster from failures and improves the overall performance of an organization.
The Impact of Institutional Bias
Another topic we discuss in our coverage of IT culture is institutional bias, which is a tendency for institutions to operate in a certain way that favors a specific group of people. Some software companies and development shops struggle with inclusivity, much to the loss of the industry. We want to shed light on unpopular issues and help organizations act in the right direction. An example is creating an inclusive culture within organizations. If computing is for all people, everyone should be represented in its creation.
At The New Stack, we look at how culture impacts technology choice and how good business and development practices can benefit the operation of cloud-native systems. We also discuss open-source, as independent developers spar with large cloud companies over the rights — and the responsibilities — that come with the use of open-source software. How open-source culture impacts organizational operations is another ongoing topic of interest for us.
Agile software development and delivery as well as iteration are some other concepts we examine at The New Stack.
Bookmark our Culture page to learn more about these topics and how they shape organizational culture.