Do you remember the panic that overcame the tech world in the last few years leading up to the start of the new millennium? Doom was the prophecy of the day as one ‘expert’ after another predicted the Y2K bug would wipe out the developed world unless software fixes could be produced en mass. It turned out to be much ado about nothing. In 2016, the tech world is looking at what are called ‘agile best practices’ to prevent the same kind of thing from happening again.
It is clear that the old way of providing software development services is not suitable for the new age. Companies are turning away from the offshore software development model and to nearshoring instead. They are less likely to look at inflexible offshore solutions in favor of nearshore innovation. It all boils down to finding the best ways of keeping pace in a rapidly changing mobile world.
What Agility Is All About
Before we can understand why nearshore software development is embracing agile best practices, we have to define what the term means. TechTarget, one of the most well-known online networks for developers and software architects, defines agile software development as follows:
“…a methodology for the creative process that anticipates the need for flexibility and applies a level of pragmatism into the delivery of the finished product. Agile software development focuses on keeping code simple, testing often, and delivering functional bits of the application as soon as they’re ready.”
The outsourced software solutions produced by the Y2K era were anything but agile. As such, a tremendous number of software companies made millions providing solutions their customers did not need. The industry is not willing to make that mistake again. Knowing that, let us look at the individual components of agile best practices. They are perfectly aligned to the nearshore model.
- Flexibility – There is nothing more important to software development than flexibility. For example, a mean stack developer has to be willing to roll with the punches, whether the customer has a temporary change in vision or does a complete about-face. Things change during the development process. That’s just the way it is.
- Frequent Testing – Agility requires frequent testing in order to identify weaknesses as early as possible. Waiting until a project is near completion before beginning the testing phase makes meeting deadlines more difficult than it needs to be.
- Incremental Delivery – Hand-in-hand with frequent testing is a willingness to deliver software incrementally. Once the base package is done, deliver it. Then offer additional deliveries as features are added, tested, and proven. This keeps the customer happy and developers motivated.
Pragmatism – This may be the most challenging part of software development, especially in the nearshore space. Software development is all about pushing the envelope to do things no one else has done before. But there has to be enough pragmatism in the equation to keep the project within the scope of reality. Pursuing something that is not reachable within the current budget or deadline only serves to deflate a project.
It is clear that nearshore software development is providing stiff competition to its offshore counterpart. As a nearshore services provider ourselves, we believe agile best practices are the key. They are what will make nearshoring the default option in the very near future.