Will JavaScript type annotations kill TypeScript?
The creators of Svelte and Turbo 8 both dropped TS recently saying that "it's not worth it".
Yes: If JavaScript gets type annotations then there's no reason for TypeScript to exist.
No: TypeScript remains the best language for structuring large enterprise applications.
TBD: The existing user base and its corpensource owner means that TypeScript isn’t likely to reach EOL without a putting up a fight.
I hope they both die. I mean, if you really need strong types in the browser then you could leverage WASM and use a real programming language.
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Operations / Platform Engineering

The Game-Changing Impact of Automation on Team Dynamics

Automation frameworks don't just benefit individual roles but amplify the cohesiveness and productivity of the whole engineering team.
Aug 28th, 2023 8:39am by
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In my tenure as an engineering team leader, I witnessed firsthand the pitfalls of redundant tasks, manual processes and disjointed workflows. The frustrations my team voiced were clear indicators that change was imperative.

As the engineering leader, it was my responsibility to address challenges in productivity in pursuit of strong investment returns. I spent the vast majority of my time dealing with those challenges and anticipating potential outcomes. My objective was to strategize not just to mitigate issues, but to transform them into positive results for my team.

This experience laid the foundation of my technical leadership journey and ultimately led me to join Nitric. Nitric’s innovative approach to streamlining workflows with a focus on developer experience resonated with my expectations on how teams could elevate their productivity without compromising quality. I saw a clearer path toward eliminating redundancy and enhancing efficiency through automation, both of which could be shared with a broader community.

A Classic Grievance

Team’s Complaint: “Every time we need a new resource, we have to raise a ticket and wait days, sometimes even weeks, for IT to provision it. It’s holding us back. We tried to set up a local environment to continue development offline, but there are too many intertwined dependencies to install and manage.”

Outcome: Development for the new feature is stalled. The team faces idle time, and project timelines are pushed back. This manifests as frustration within your own team with a trickle effect on other departments, causing cascading delays in product launch, user feedback and potentially revenue.

While we don’t wish to focus solely on this example, it’s valuable to us as it highlights the “cost of delay.”

“Cost of delay is the golden key that unlocks many doors. It has an astonishing power to transform the mindset of a development organisation.” Donald G. Reinertsen, author of “The Principles of Product Development Flow.”

Leaders continuously seek tools to elevate their teams’ productivity and innovation. Engineering leaders navigate a multifaceted landscape of technical, managerial and strategic challenges. While many are aware of the overt benefits of cloud automation frameworks like Nitric, the deeper, hidden benefits often go unexplored.

Unearthing Hidden Benefits

Let’s look at how automation profoundly affects different personas within an engineering team, acting as a catalyst for delivering business value. And let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of how automation can reshape the very fabric of engineering teams and unearth some of the hidden value.

Note: The observations presented are compiled from outreach to users of our open source framework, which automates the process of inferring cloud infrastructure requirements and fulfilling the provisioning.

The Developer: Crafting Instead of Constructing

Developers are the backbone of any software product. The introduction of abstractions and automation reduces the repetitive, manual aspects of their tasks.

  • Before: Developers spend hours setting up environments, integrating code and dealing with deployment issues across local, dev, staging and production environments.
  • After: With automation, these processes are abstracted and automated. The developer focuses on writing high-quality code and delivering business value immediately.

Hidden benefit: Increased job satisfaction and creativity. When developers shift from the mundane to the meaningful, their work is more valuable, leading to increased motivation and innovation.

The QA Engineer: Precise Testing, Not Perpetual Patching

QA engineers ensure that software is bug-free and meets the desired quality standards.

  • Before: Manual testing processes can be time-consuming, inconsistent and often reactive. Releases are delivered in larger chunks and infrequently.
  • After: Automation enables developers and/or testers to be more involved with automated testing that runs more frequently, consistently testing with more immediate feedback.

Hidden benefit: The QA role transforms from mere bug finders to quality enhancers. This shift elevates their position, emphasizing proactive quality enhancement rather than reactive bug hunting.

The DevOps Engineer: Orchestrators of Harmony

DevOps engineers work tirelessly to ensure seamless integration between development and operations.

  • Before: Much of their time might be spent firefighting deployment issues and managing server inconsistencies.
  • After: Abstractions simplify deployment processes, and its automation ensures consistent server environments.

Hidden Benefit: DevOps personnel can focus on optimization strategies, security enhancements, and scalability, becoming strategic contributors rather than operational fixers.

The Product Manager: Visionaries, Not Firefighters

Product managers bridge the gap between what users need and what teams build.

  • Before: PMs often find themselves managing stakeholder expectations due to delays in feature releases or bug fixes.
  • After: Rapid prototyping and shortened time-to-market enable PMs to release features swiftly and iterate based on real user feedback.

Hidden benefit: PMs can spend more time understanding market needs and strategizing product evolution, solidifying their role as visionaries and not just project overseers.

The Engineering Leader: Strategic Facilitators, Not Just Managers

Engineering leaders — be they CTOs, VPs of engineering or engineering managers — play a pivotal role in not only managing teams, but also in shaping the strategic direction of products and services. Their challenges span both the managerial and the technical.

  • Before: Leaders often find themselves swamped in day-to-day operational challenges, from resolving interpersonal team conflicts to troubleshooting project delays. This can divert their attention from higher-level strategic thinking and long-term planning.
  • After: Several routine tasks and processes get streamlined by employing abstraction and automation tools. This means fewer fires to put out daily, allowing leaders more bandwidth to focus on the bigger picture.

Hidden benefit: Engineering leaders can pivot from routine operational challenges to more strategic roles. They gain the bandwidth to better align technical endeavors with overarching business goals, foster a harmonious team culture and drive innovation. The seamless day-to-day processes enable them to focus on mentoring and talent retention.

The Entire Engineering Team: Synchronized Growth and Efficiency

Championing automation in an engineering team is an invitation to lead a revolution, not just a team. I won’t rehash the before and after here; let’s jump right to the benefits.

Hidden Benefits:

  1. Cultural boost: As teams operate more efficiently and celebrate shared successes, a culture of trust, mutual respect and shared purpose thrives.
  2. Resilience: With a unified approach and the right tools in place, the team is better equipped to adapt and turn challenges into learning opportunities.

Closing Remarks

Automation frameworks like Nitric don’t just benefit individual roles but amplify the cohesiveness and productivity of the whole engineering team. You can learn more about Nitric and the advancements we are making to automate the infrastructure runtime and provisioning here or collaborate with the team on Discord.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma.
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