From a Software Development Model to an Engineer Development Model

The notion of design before execution and test after development is well established. But the details on how it is executed keeps changing, since memory can recall. We have given these execution patterns different names like the waterfall model, RUP etc.

In the constant human endeavour to make things better and in software engineering to make things faster, from waterfall we moved to other models like scrum, extreme Programming and others.

The purpose of any software development model is to improve productivity. Which means to have the right product reach the market quicker and with fewer bugs. The operative words being, right product, quicker and fewer bugs.

With the changing times, the old paradigm of software development does not work. Because with the evolution of technology, we now have much smaller teams than before. Think about it, the first version of Instagram was built by one person, its founder.

Much smaller teams mean, it could be just one or two engineers handling frontend development, one or two engineers doing backend. This kind of a team needs a different way of working and collaboration.

Software development models existed because of the existence of teams. Now, it is about the right engineer instead. Some may say it always was, but now the individual is the team. In this scenario, the focus must move to a different model.
It needs an Engineer development model not a Software development one.

The process which embeds software development within an engineer while he works with the team is what I call the engineer development model. As it is all about becoming a better individual and engineer. And thats what startups need, an engineer who is self driven who constantly thinks on how he could do things better and faster.

While earlier the pressure to deliver on time was exerted by say the QA team, now this same pressure to deliver is exerted by the QA engineer or the backend engineer or the UI/UX engineer. Notice the change in paradigm here.

When humans replace entire teams, the power equations change dramatically.

This makes the engineer development model key to success for any organisation. And this needs to be a humane model for it to succeed.

As the saying goes the chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. This makes it super critical for a startup to have the ‘right’ engineers and have in place the ‘right’ engineer development model.