Multidisciplinary Software Development
The global information technology industry continues to grow rapidly–it’s predicted to reach an incredible $5 trillion valuation by the end of the year. Companies of all sizes are developing new technology and custom software for consumers.
However, executives in the tech industry say that scaling their company’s capacity and hiring the right talent as their two biggest challenges. Many businesses have responded to these obstacles by partnering with nearshore development services to augment their in-house staff and rapidly release custom software to market.
These nearshore development firms provide multidisciplinary development teams that can help companies save time and money–without compromising on quality. Before selecting an outsourcing partner, ask about their approach to multidisciplinary software development.
Introducing the Multidisciplinary Development Team
The Agile development approach is now the most popular software development methodology. Its popularity is a result of its high degree of flexibility and insistence on garnering stakeholder feedback early in the process. These holistic teams consist of software engineers, security specialists, user design experts, testers, and more.
These multidisciplinary teams are an essential part of the Agile methodology’s success. Traditional software development methodologies like Waterfall are linear. They break the development cycle into small, sequential steps that are easy to manage. Each specialist is brought in during a predetermined phase of the project.
The Agile multidisciplinary team is radically different. In this approach, all of the various specialists, including security, testing, and user design, help develop each iteration of the software. This ensures that every voice is heard throughout the development process.
Multidisciplinary Teams Make Software Development Easier
Accomplish More With Each Iteration
One of the most important benefits associated with the Agile methodology and multidisciplinary teams is the ability to create a working iteration of software early in the development cycle.
This prototype can be released to stakeholders just weeks after development begins–allowing the engineering team to gather invaluable data. This feedback helps determine which features are most important and helps the team invest their limited resources into the most important software components.
Multidisciplinary teams also improve the Agile software development approach because they ensure that more is accomplished during each iteration. These teams are composed of security experts, testers, and design specialists, in addition to standard software engineers.
This unique assortment of specialists means that each iteration is well designed and tested, giving stakeholders a more realistic vision of what the final product will look and feel like. This helps manage expectations and provides the engineers with more realistic feedback.
Better UI and UX Design
Nearshore development services help companies improve the user experience and interface design of their software through multidisciplinary development teams. This is because user experience and interface design experts are included in every stage of the development cycle. These specialists ensure that the end user’s functional and aesthetic needs are included in the final product.
User experience design is used to describe how a piece of software functions. Modern customers expect software to work smoothly and intuitively–it should “just work” from the moment it launches.
One of the most innovative user experience designs in the smartphone era is Apple’s elastic scrolling. When a user is scrolling down and nears the end of a web page or document, scrolling becomes increasingly difficult and a blank space slowly fills the area between the webpage and phone’s home buttons.
This increased “friction” lets the user intuitively know that there is no content left on the webpage. It became so popular that it has become standard practice and is now used on both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets today.
User interface, on the other hand, is used to describe how software looks and feels. The popular photo-sharing website Flickr is an excellent example of a well-executed user interface.
When a visitor lands on the Flickr homepage they immediately see a series of beautiful, high-resolution photographs that they can purchase. The homepage is laid out in basic black and white–a design which allows the photographs to take center stage.
Both companies provide excellent examples of how to effectively integrate user experience and interface design considerations into a product. Furthermore, both companies effectively utilized multidisciplinary teams to produce early software iterations that truly nailed the user experience.
However, it is important to note that user design is not limited to multinational corporations. Any company can integrate user experience and interface design ideas into their software with the help of a nearshore development partner.
Meet Deadlines and Release Products Faster
Businesses of all sizes are working with multidisciplinary teams provided by nearshore software outsourcing companies to shorten the length of their software development life cycle.
Traditional linear development methodologies, such as the Waterfall approach mentioned earlier, segment the software development life cycle into separate categories. This sequential system requires that each previous stage be completed before the next one can begin.
Software engineers are expected to construct the software, while security, design, and testing specialists are only brought in once the core work is complete. This approach makes planning and designing software much easier.
However, the segmentation of teams makes communication difficult and often leads to missed deadlines. For example, since the software engineering group is often physically separated from their counterparts they may find themselves at a standstill when they need input from others to continue–such as during the QA testing phase.
Multidisciplinary development teams and the Agile methodology eliminate the frustrating communication lag by bringing all of these experts together in one group. Because all of these specialists work together on every iteration, they are able to provide valuable feedback in real-time and avoid costly delays in the development process.
Improve Code Quality
Mistakes are an unfortunate reality in the software development world. This holds true no matter how experienced the programmer is or how simple the project may be. In fact, research has found that programmers make on average “about 15-50 errors per 1000 lines of delivered code.”
Many of these coding mistakes lead to frustrated end users and embarrassed executives. More importantly, other errors can leave software vulnerable to attack.
An SQL Injection is an example of a security vulnerability caused by errors in code. This type of attack involves using false SQL statements to manipulate the backend into sending a database’s contents to the hacker. Malicious actors have consistently used this code vulnerability to steal a business’s intellectual property.
Many businesses choose to work with a nearshore software development firm to help them improve their code quality and avoid these costly breaches. These firms utilize multidisciplinary teams, composed of engineers, testers, security experts, and more, to accomplish this.
These specialized teams function according to the principle of shared responsibility–each member of the team is held accountable for the overall success of the software. This ensures that the team works together to verify that each line of code is free of errors before software is brought to market.
Developing High-Quality Custom Software
The multidisciplinary software development teams used by innovative tech companies and provided by nearshore development services help businesses develop high-quality custom software with confidence. These unique teams bring all of the specialists necessary to build software together into one collaborative group, enabling these development groups to accomplish more in less time.
Businesses that utilize multidisciplinary teams and nearshore development services can expect to produce high-quality custom software that is free of errors at an incredibly fast rate. This allows owners to focus on their customers and long-term business growth.