Over the last few weeks, a number of our clients have raised the topic of ‘constraints that development teams should stay within’. The person who referred to the ‘constraints’ concept looked around carefully. We were actually holding this conversation in private. That is because ‘constraints’ can easily be associated with directive leadership. A style that doesn’t fit in this rapidly changing world where ‘Agile’ is a popular topic.
I meet these IT managers during conversations about our work: measuring and reporting software quality. These are managers who are increasingly choosing a low-code platform, instead of, or in addition to, technologies such as Java or C#. They have taken the plunge in basing their digital transformation on, for example, OutSystems.
Then comes the development. The IT manager concerned has full confidence in a positive outcome and is curious about how this new way of working will be adopted by their teams. Do they stay within ‘constraints’, namely best practices, guidelines on architecture and transferrable implementation? What will be the impact on our code quality? Is my choice the right one? Occasionally this results in a sleepless night.
Low-code and code quality
A low-code platform such as OutSystems provides engineers with guidelines for developing future-proof applications.
The IT manager is held responsible for these suboptimal solutions: “Wasn’t your OutSystems system supposed to be cheaper and more manageable and future-proof?”
Speed section control
Car drivers have to deal with constraints the same way as IT engineers do. Every driver knows there is a maximum speed limit in the Netherlands these days. This speed depends on the type of road and can be seen on speed limit signs. Some drivers keep within this limits and some do not. However, there is one exception: the vast majority of drivers do respect the constraints on road sections that have speed section control systems. Section control systems work by measuring the average speed of a car over a determined distance.
What is the essence of a section control system? According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, speed section control systems are for ‘traffic safety, the environment and traffic flow. They create a calmer traffic image and are usually positioned in urban areas.” In practice, you drive on the A12 motorway at just under 105 Km/h on the speedometer along Utrecht in the heart of the Netherlands. If you drive any faster, there is a clear consequence. It will cost you money, because the speed cameras measure your average speed. Does that feel like a restriction? Actually, it doesn’t as most people adjust their speed.
Future-proofing of Outsystems solutions
Boncode provides the resources for ‘speed section control’. The OutSystems solutions are measured in various ways. Some examples are:
- Violations of OutSystems best practices
- Visualization architecture
IT managers, don’t be too harsh when you implement your ‘section control’!
What do speed control systems on motorways teach us as IT professionals about complying with important issues such as best practices, architectural rules and creating clean code with the OutSystems platform? They teach us the following:
- The ‘IT section control’ starts with good communication about why constraints are so important. Just like with speed cameras in urban areas, there are logical reasons why certain constraints and guidelines should be followed in IT. If you don’t keep to these, it will cost the company money, definitely in the long run.
- Objective transparency. Measure factually and present transparently whether best practices and architecture are adhered to.
- Make sure, like with speed cameras, that there are consequences for not keeping within certain substantial constraints. To clarify, it doesn’t have to be a ticket! Instead it could be something more fun. For example, by rewarding future-proof software development.
In this way, teams will also take responsibility for achieving the ‘low-code promise’: cost-efficient and managed implementation of the digital transformation. And… the IT manager will sleep a lot better.
Interested to discuss how Boncode can contribute to your sleep? Please contact Boncode for special offers.