Empowering software developers with cloud automation

After the recent spike in digital transformations over the pandemic, it is clear than more and more companies are focusing on maximising their digital output and using cloud computing to stay ahead of the curve

While this digital acceleration is assisting in efficient business operations and connection with customers, it comes at a cost for the thousands of software developers coding these processes every day. Excessive workloads are causing swathes of burnout in developer communities, and in a recent survey from Salesforce’s Mulesoft, 93% of companies surveyed found that the ‘Great Resignation’ has made it more difficult for their IT teams to retain skilled developers. 

Companies are now more focused than ever on scaling up their cloud resources, and with each one wanting to be the fastest to market, developers are ending up working much longer hours before. This pressure is taking a toll of their mental and physical health: with a 2021 study finding 83% of software developers were experiencing symptoms of burnout.   

Introducing cloud automation is the best first step in helping developers feel empowered and satisfied in their roles. Automating monotonous processes allows individuals to work on truly innovative projects, enhances their wellbeing and gives back time that can be used to upskill and grow professionally. As a result of this, employers will see a positive impact on the digital transformation projects they take on, how innovative they can be and therefore a boost to the bottom line. Happy, engaged and upskilled employees are a recipe for success. 

Embracing creativity by throwing out the tedious 

When cloud computing was first introduced, a large draw was its ability to offer ‘on demand’ services to developers. However, in a manual cloud environment, provisioning virtual resources in the cloud is a largely repetitive and time-consuming task. Though they are automatable, these kinds of monotonous and repetitive tasks can slow down development and stifle innovation in software developers.   

Though essential for gaining inspiration for new and innovative features, time to think creatively is lacking due to an increased load of admin work. Developers can become stuck dealing with sterile, unstimulating tasks – such as performing manual back-ups to the cloud, even when the process can be automated. By investing in automation, employers will allow their developers the time to take on more creative work that will boost their morale and help implement meaningful innovation. 

A healthy team is a productive team 

With 47% of developers citing high workload as their leading cause of burnout at work, employers need to take into account the strain that increased demand for developer work is causing. As workloads go up and developers get more fatigued, they begin to lose the enthusiasm they once had for the role. To save the morale of their developers, employers must embrace automation as a way to keep productivity and enthusiasm levels high.  

Tasks that require constant surveillance can lead developers to work overtime in fear that leaving a process alone will cause it to falter. However, automation is a tool that is easily applicable and highly effective in tasks such as these. An example of application is automated capacity increases and decreases for a website depending on the amount of traffic it is getting. Instead of worrying that they will miss a peak in traffic and cause the website to go down, developers can use their mental energy to focus on tasks that will increase the growth of the business.  

To keep producing quality content, developers need to stay on top of their work. In the time saved by automating processes, developers can assess their own progress, organise their resources and communicate their workload with colleagues. Having this weight off their shoulders will give them the time to fall back in love with their work and find the enthusiasm they may have lost. 

More time to upskill 

The time that automation gives back to developers provides a great opportunity for managers to implement more training and upskilling into their work calendars. Soft skills such as time-management and communication are now in demand more than ever, and with their deep-tech backgrounds, many software developers may not have had the chance to build these skills. In fact, an IBM report found that although problem solving was considered the most critical soft skill for tech roles (37%), over a quarter of tech recruiters (23%) have difficulty finding applicants with this aptitude.  

As automation brings specialist developers closer to the business side of the operation, these soft skills will be especially necessary. Interpersonal communication, critical thinking, and the ability to give constructive feedback will be vital for the new dynamic that software developers will begin to experience over the coming years.  

With the pressure on their backs steadily increasing, implementing cloud automation is now essential to attracting and maintaining software developer talent. Employees are now actively choosing roles that will reduce their workloads and give them the time and opportunities to grow professionally and fall back in love with their jobs. To weather the ‘Great Resignation’ and future proof their development team, the application of automated processes into businesses’ cloud computing will be key. 

About the Author

Mairead O’Connor is Exec for Cloud Engineering at AND Digital. AND Digital accelerates the development of world-class digital capabilities, and we power the product development of ambitious companies – from British Airways and Conde Nast, to The Telegraph, Gousto and more. We all know technology is reshaping how we live, and how every organisation on earth operates. And yet, very few businesses today can deliver the software products at the pace and quality needed to meet their requirements. That’s because the right product is only one part of the equation. Organisations also need the right people – with the right skills, set up in the right environment – in order to thrive over the long term.

Featured image: ©Cifotart