Maintaining Visibility Over Software Errors
When inevitable software problems arise, teams are often blind to the real picture that is happening because they aren’t monitoring the entire stack as a whole.
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When software teams build software products, they start with mighty ambitions. Every team member has their own role to play in fulfilling the vision, but how can we maintain visibility over your technology stack, right from design to build? A typical process may look like this: the CTO may have to find out how to meet the company’s goals with technology, the product manager may have to work out what features need to be built and their expected timeframe, then the developer may be assigned a brief of what to build to meet the needs of the product. The tough part is getting the entire team to hold true to that vision through the duration of the build process.
How can software teams stay focused on the goal through the entire tech stack?
At the start of any new project, team members need to look at the whole pie, so to speak, then break things down into individual projects and tasks. The overarching vision for the development of products is important, mainly to prioritize tasks, but also to keep the team on track and pointing in the right direction collaboratively.
From initial concept right through to shipping day, each team member will be looking to contribute to the goal of the project.
If teams have the ability to see the bigger picture, things will run a lot more smoothly in the development lifecycle. As the pieces of the puzzle come together, they will slot in more smoothly rather than become a jumbled up mess that are brute forced into place, or in the wrong order.
This is a very common approach to building new software but often, it's isn’t so organized when it comes to maintaining it. Teams and individuals tend to have visibility on a small part of their software, but not the whole pie.
For developers, it may be the code they are working on today or specific parts of the application technology stack. For CTOs, the focus may stay on the backend with little knowledge of the full front-end setup. Support staff may deal with tickets and software bugs reported by users but are only able to pass these details on to the developer team with little context.
Though team members are responsible for their own areas, they all care about the quality of the software they put into user’s hands, but may only have visibility of their own parts of the system. When inevitable software problems arise or for teams that rely on their customers to report software bugs and problems, teams are often blind to the real picture that is happening for their users because they aren’t monitoring the entire stack as a whole.
If you manage just a small part of your application or monitor certain parts, your situation looks a bit like this:
Individual team members may only be getting visibility over certain parts of the application. When effective monitoring is in place, each individual team member can maintain visibility over your technology stack.
Technology teams care deeply that their software is performing for users, but how can you maintain visibility for your entire team across everything you’re doing? If your technology stack is big, you might have many different languages, platforms, front-end, back-end, and other more convoluted systems running your application. The answer to seeing full stack errors and crashes would be to flip the visibility model on its head.
If error monitoring and reporting is installed across your technology stack, visibility on software errors can be given to your entire team, with instant notifications letting you know the moment any issue arises. Integrating with your ChatOps tool of choice also gives everyone a notification at the same time, so not only will the CTO be aware there is an issue in the front-end code, the front-end team can jump on it within a heartbeat.
Every team thinks their applications are relatively error-free if they do not have effective monitoring in place. It’s only once they plug in a tool do they realize just how many issues are present.
Having full visibility of software errors and helps teams ship faster, with more confidence, and with better collaboration. The across the board visibility approach taken to new software projects should also be given to maintaining visibility over your technology stack plus maintaining software quality across your development team.
If not, your team might not be seeing the true picture.
Published at DZone with permission of Freyja Spaven, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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