Feeds

Reg readers: Distributed software development is hard

But is there hope?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Poll results The Reg reader poll run earlier this week as part of our agile development workshop produced a set of results that do not paint a particularly inspiring picture. When asked how distributed software development was managed within organisations, almost half told us things were not that great. About a third gave feedback indicating that they were just about doing okay, but only one in five said things were managed well.

Only one in five. Ouch. So what sort of problems are organisations having? At the top level you talked about communication and collaboration challenges, which is a theme across 85 per cent of respondents. Perhaps this isn’t so surprising – what comes as a bit more of a shocker is how nearly 70 per cent remarked on software quality issues arising from too much variation in skill sets between sites. Distribute development and quality will suffer, seems to be the message.

There’s a range of other issues as illustrated in Figure 1. Different combinations of these challenges conspire in different organisations to give rise to the unimpressive overall performance we mentioned at the start.

Figure 1

While this may all sound a bit downhearted, by drilling into the data we find some very interesting correlations which provide a view of the kind of factors and behaviours that can make a difference. Looking into these factors we can learn a whole number of ways that organisations can help themselves improve how distributed development is done.

Take the way in which distributed development activity is managed and organised, for example. If we put to one side the respondents who either centralise or outsource everything completely (about one in five of the sample), we are left with three groups of similar size. The first of these implements a "hub and spoke" approach, in which a core central development function is surrounded by geographically-distributed satellite teams. The second group implements more of a peer-to-peer setup, in which activity is distributed across teams of equal status. This then leaves the third group, who behave in more of an ad hoc manner, i.e. mix the different approaches with no consistent policy on how things are managed between sites.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.