Dev-intensity is how we stay sharp to combine quick throughput with winning results

To succeed in our work, we need to maintain both velocity and progress - our philosophy for achieving these twin outcomes is called Dev-Intensity

Turning work around quickly is crucial in our industry – but it’s not worth a great deal if it isn’t balanced with a results-driven mentality.

To succeed in our work, we need to maintain both velocity and progress, and our philosophy for achieving these twin outcomes is called dev intensity.

What does that mean in practice, though?

For us, dev intensity is a kind of velocity – the right kind. We’re always on the move, and it’s not just about maintaining a quick throughput – we want to use our time effectively and do things right (after all, we’re the people here to Make Everything RightTM). For instance, we’d rather complete the job sooner and then fix anything that needs fixing later than take longer to get there because we’re stuck discussing the minute details and getting trapped in the dreaded “analysis paralysis”. We prefer to get to a working prototype that the customer can touch, feel, and try out as quickly as we can – that way, we have a tangible starting point to work from.

We promise a really hands-on way of working to our customers. And the best way for us to deliver on this is to iterate forwards, always keeping our eyes on the ultimate goal of the project – working in small chunks with high throughput to solve immediate challenges, iterating and reiterating until we get there.

Another outcome of dev intensity we’ve experienced, in addition to marrying velocity with progress, is keeping our skills up to date in a tech landscape that’s changing faster than ever. Progress is achieved through super smart devs who are moving with the latest tech. Previously, when a giant like Microsoft or Amazon dropped a new tech it would be the standard for 5–10 years whereas these days, nothing is guaranteed. At  SOUTHWORKS we are passionate about what we do, committed to staying on top of the latest trends, and determined to make products that work well – as such, we seek out people who take pride in their craft and have that passion to naturally keep up with the latest standards and their various frameworks to advise our customers on the best fit for their projects. Along with our quick throughput, this quality advice is something we pride ourselves on as a company.

If you’re familiar with Stephen Covey’s The 7 habits of highly effective people, you’ll know that one of his principles is called “sharpen the saw”, which is essentially about seeing the body, mind, and spirit as tools that we need to keep sharp to do our best work. We heavily promote this principle internally, as it keeps our skills fresh and at a high level. In turn, this ensures we’re always prepared, so when a client asks if we’re familiar with a new technology we can say we’ve been getting to know it since day one and are ready to investigate whether it’s a fit for them.

We keep our knowledge updated through what we call our engineering discipline. It’s easy to get lost with so many technologies, acronyms, tools, and methods around, and this discipline gives us a set method for ensuring we understand these changing trends and new technologies. Communication is a big part of achieving this –developing the skill of explaining what we’ve done and how we’ve done it helps us to thoroughly understand the technology and advise our customers appropriately. This process also helps us to enjoy our work.

To give a practical example, this same principle made the transition easy when the pandemic hit and we were forced to start working remotely – we’d already been “sharpening our saw” for a long time by developing best practices and figuring out what worked and what didn’t, and the result was that we were ready to put it into action when the time came. This commitment to being prepared is what keeps us moving and winning – and that’s what we call dev intensity.

How do you keep up with the latest #tech trends while delivering on the day-to-day? Get in touch at hello@southworks.com and let us know!

Johnny Halife

CTO

Johnny leads SOUTHWORKS in its rapid growth journey by fostering innovation on emerging technologies and related global market trends

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