This quote made famous by Bill Joy in the late 90’s is as true as it ever was. By way of introduction, I have spent the last twenty plus years of my professional career building large mission critical software and building the multi-disciplinary teams needed to design, develop and deploy it. This includes many large successful projects and some unfortunately unsuccessful ones, all for Fortune 500 clients. When I started to notice the large and growing trend of highly skilled developers becoming Freelancers I knew that it was an unalterable trend. The Uberization of computer programmers.
The promise of hiring experts to build software for your business has always been highly marketed. Now based on advances in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning along with curated networks of experts in design and engineering along with re-useable software components it has become more of a sure thing. In fact, we have a perfect storm. Let’s look at each of these factors.
Engineering as a Service
Creating a culture that is embraced by top developers is hard. They are eccentric and many times need a lot of special treatment. Grand Design Systems (GDS) has created a network of certified high caliber software engineers. This is the first part of the puzzle. Expert networks are sprouting up everywhere and there is no better place for them than in software engineering. It is widely noted that the difference between an average developer and a great one (sometimes called 10x engineers because they can be an order of magnitude more productive than the average) is alarmingly big. Just like communities in open source the network is “self” certified with members policing the quality and skill of the other engineers.
The large (and growing) amount of open source libraries and functionality that can be drawn upon to the build the next project is astounding. Building a marketplace ? The backbone technology to do that in a mobile world is already developed. Need a dashboard for analytics or a visualization interface ? The building blocks to do so have already been created. Our clients benefit with faster delivery and lower cost by using a treasure chest of re-useable and certified modules.
The missing ingredient to tie this together for the client are Product Managers. They coordinate the functionality, workflow, and schedules of delivery. This is the crucial part of getting complex software development projects right.
AI and Automation Tools
Lastly we have built automation tools to manage these parts of the platform. We can become better at software development and the data can lead us there. By tracking all the events associated with a successful project including communications, commits, emails, chats we can programmatically tell in real time the digital footprint of a successful project versus one for a broken one. Analogously, we can rank and grade the best professionals for a given project and we can determine which modules can be re-used successfully.
These tools help us give Fixed Price proposals which derisks Software Development for our clients. Our goal at GDS is to create happy clients by delivering impactful cutting edge applications. We have executed on hundreds of projects and the more projects we do, our automation tools get better and smarter.
There are many examples of how our clients are using our service. A common ask is to help them track and use the behaviorial data from their clients and to build machine learning into their apps to alter their business model. Another is to create a chatbots using the latest NLP technologies for customer support and customer acquisition. Check ous out at Grand Design Systems.