to all ForbesThe decentralized workforce is here to stay. More than half of Americans now work full-time or part-time from a non-office location. We can only expect this number to continue to grow, and although other countries have not jumped to work remotely at the same rate as the United States, there is no doubt that global trends are heading in the same direction.
But with a decentralized workforce come communication challenges, and 2020 certainly taught us a lot about what works and what doesn’t to keep DevOps teams aligned and functional as they all work from different locations, time zones, networks and systems.
The importance of automation
Although it was something we had already learned before the plague, the year 2020 brought the importance of automation, especially around asynchronous workflows. The ability to share workflows and work together even when other team members are asleep is the key to keeping remote teams running smoothly.
However, it is clear that video conferencing technology is still evolving. Video calls work well for small teams but still pose a challenge for larger DevOps teams that need to collaborate regularly.
Automation is also the way forward with software testing. Manual testing simply will not work when it comes to simulating loads with thousands of users across many distributed systems.
The tribal knowledge problem solved?
Despite the obvious challenges associated with completely remote team communication, remote work has the potential to significantly improve software.
One of the things that tends to bother many software companies is “tribal knowledge”, or lack of knowledge sharing or knowledge storage Around key products and processes. There are many things that are not written around code that leave the company when the employee who invented them leaves.
A decentralized workforce has the potential to solve the problem by forcing DevOps teams to be much more committed when it comes to writing test bases, automation writing and writing philosophies and design patterns.
Agility and reliance on online tools
The more dispersed the workforce, the more agile teams can record and provide information to solve any problem, the better off they are, but that means adopting the technologies that allow them to document their knowledge. It can be difficult to change the way DevOps teams work if they use drawing boards and post-IT for decades.
For this reason, DevOps teams need to be able to adapt to modern and agile team models and use the tools at their disposal that allow them to track and share what they have done.
Related panel discussion: 4 BIG software application challenges for FinServ
Last May, Bob Kemper, VP of Global Engineering at OverOps, and Anders Wolgren, VP of Technology Strategy at CloudBees, participated in a panel discussion on the four major software application challenges for FinServ. In Part 4, the two discuss the challenges of a distributed workforce: