Focus on the Average Developer
A Guide to Balanced Teams | Article + Video
Long-term business resilience in software development is intrinsically tied to operational effectiveness. Although there are numerous contributing factors to low performance, this article aims to elucidate why an organizational focus on "average" or mid-level developers is a strategic move that balances various needs and limitations.
The Complexity of Software Development
Software development is an inherently complex field that evolves frenetically, characterized by the constant emergence of new technologies, paradigms, and best practices. Given this complexity and flux, achieving mastery in a few years is practically unattainable.
We're talking about an industry that includes everything from front-end development and cloud computing to cybersecurity and data science, among many other sub-disciplines.
Maintaining Business Continuity
For a business to succeed, it is imperative to establish a stable and efficient workflow that can readily adapt to unforeseen challenges, such as:
Personnel turnover or understaffing
Gaps in collective knowledge and experience
Obsolescence (or reaching a 'Legacy Deadend')
Overly complex infrastructure
The goal is to construct a sustainable, resilient framework that minimizes reactionary measures. I have found that striving for a balanced, average workload can fulfill all essential criteria without achieving perfection.
The Strategic Importance of the "Average Developer"
When balancing culture, methodologies, and technology, focusing on mid-level or "average" developers is highly beneficial instead of exclusively targeting senior or junior-level talent. Here's why:
Junior Developers: By aligning strategies and expectations to an intermediate level, we set realistic targets for junior developers, facilitating their learning curve and preventing them from feeling overwhelmed.
Mid-Level Developers: They become the backbone of your development operations, handling the primary share of coding, debugging, and feature development. This is the core work, and it best aligns with their skill set.
Senior Developers: Instead of being bogged down with routine tasks, they can ascend to roles that involve more strategic decision-making, mentoring, or leading specialized projects.