More than just a developer
An OutSystems developer in a Scrum team turns out to be far more than just a developer. Working in a low-code environment allows for both faster and better results, with the developer’s job also including analysis and testing, all in close collaboration with the business.
Axel Denis always had a soft spot for IT, but he decided to study languages and ended up as an Account Manager within the translation business. About a year ago, he decided to follow his heart and applied for the position of OutSystems developer at Providit. “I followed several courses to learn low-code development with OutSystems”, Axel says. “After two and a half months I obtained my Associate Developer Certificate and started working on my first project.”
Update 16 July: After about 1 year and a half at Providit, Axel joined the club of the happy few that have an OutSystems Professional certification.
Collaboration with business and the Product Owner
Working in low-code soon lead to an interesting side effect. “Development can go so quickly that the analysts can not keep up with the development speed. Instead of focusing on development only, I spent part of my time on analysis as well.” This does not mean that development becomes less efficient. “As developers we participated in meetings with business and the Product Owner. This allowed us to get a better understanding of their viewpoint of the application and to anticipate their needs.” This way developers can discuss with the PO how features will be implemented in the application and thus the PO can make last-minute modifications to features based on the newly acquired information.
“You may think that having your developers doing some analysis is a bad thing because they are no longer fully focused on development, but I noticed it is the other way around”, Axel explains. “We can think of ways to implement certain features that business or the PO have not thought about. This allows us to avoid unnecessary developments which need to be modified because they turn out differently than initially thought. Otherwise it would only be at the end of the sprint that the PO realises the features do not meet the expectations.”
Better and faster
From time to time the developers can also sit together with the PO to apply small tweaks or implement very small features. “Sometimes the requested changes only take a few moments to implement in low-code. For this kind of work, we like to sit with the PO or the analyst to go through the application and make all the small changes they requested over the past weeks.” This avoids a lot of overhead for both the PO/analyst and the developers and helps filtering the bugs on implementation time. “Once we were able to triage and fix about 20 features and bugs in less than 30 minutes. That way only the larger implementations receive separate tickets and all the small features can be combined in one ticket. When making visual changes in OutSystems the PO can immediately see the result during development, allowing him or her to quickly test a few possibilities before making a final choice.”