How do you balance your customers’ needs with the time and effort it takes to implement a feature? Initially, you might be tempted to look for new tools to help.
But before you do, take a step back and consider whether what you’re looking for is more automation. In other words: can you reduce human involvement in the process of building software?
If you’re like many people, the answer is probably “yes.”
The promise of automation is a seductive one. First, it can save time and effort during development. Second, it makes processes easier to manage. And finally – and perhaps most importantly – it gives your team more freedom to focus on tasks that matter.
Below are six ways to increase automation in your software project:
- Automate Common Data Tasks
One of the best opportunities for automation is in tasks that involve working with data. For example, you can use an automated test tool like Spock or JUnit to handle standard testing and assertions.
- Create an Automated Build Process
You can simplify building processes with automation tools like Ant, Maven, Jenkins, and Gradle. These tools allow you to focus on coding rather than worrying about compiling your project or running tests. The saved time can then be spent improving other areas of the software instead.
- Maintain Code With Version Control
When using version control, it’s crucial to automate as many tasks as possible. For example, try automating the process of checking out your code from the version control system (VCS). You can do this with tools like git-FTP. This kind of automation saves time and helps avoid errors.
- Write Automated Tests
Automate your testing whenever possible, especially the tests you run frequently. This will free up resources for other tasks that need to be addressed more urgently. You can use tools like JUnit or RSpec to execute automated tests in code written with Java or Ruby. These language-specific frameworks are very well suited for automation. This allows the developers to contribute to other aspects of a project.
- Monitor Build Performance
You can use tools like Hudson or TeamCity to automatically check that your VCS repository is working correctly and that your tests are running successfully. That saves you time to focus on other essential tasks, like writing new features for your product.
- Automate Reporting With Analytics
Your company may need to keep track of many different data points. For example, it can be helpful to determine how quickly your users are adopting new versions of software or which types of customers are buying more products. You can use Google Analytics, KissMetrics, or Mixpanel to automate the process of reporting on this data and determining whether there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
In conclusion, you can also look for other opportunities for automation in your software project. If you do so, you’ll spend less time performing repetitive tasks and more time focusing on the essential things – like building great products for your customers.