How software engineering teams can prepare for 2023

Developer team

Amidst a fast-moving labor market and fast-growing IT industry inducing constant change, one thing is certain -- software application development teams are under pressure to deliver higher quality user-focused products, securely -- and at pace.

Meanwhile, other challenges have surfaced affecting software development. These include high end-user expectations for easy-to-use, affordable and reliable digital services. This is combined with the increasing complexity and diversity of technologies associated with scale and workload -- and not forgetting drastic skills shortages in software engineering and associated niche tech expertise. IDC predicts the global shortage of full-time developers will increase from 1.4 million in 2021 to 4 million in 2025.

Since these challenges don’t look set to ease up anytime soon, there are some ways that engineering teams can better prepare and positively impact higher business performance.


Building a successful software team

The key elements that can make a successful software team in 2023 extend beyond creating software. Some key business and tech considerations for engineering teams to better prepare and positively impact higher business performance include:

Understand the business goals, not just the tech

In 2023, software engineers with a strong IT skill set and business acumen will be most in demand, a blend of skills that has rapidly gone from highly desirable to ranking as essential. The increased digitization of business has put engineering teams directly in the spotlight for innovation and delivery of new apps and services. With a lack of skilled experts creating a barrier to building customer-centric digital experiences, next year will likely see more engineers coming into marketing and product management as the marketing and tech worlds collide.

Truly successful software teams will be those that connect to the bigger business picture, and know that their role far surpasses merely creating software. Beyond the tactical feature development of apps, developers must have a vision, aligning to the business objectives of how the technology can provide new business capabilities that will shape the future.

Closely linking to the wider business goals of the business will also need to factor in the environment around them, to develop intuitive and sustainable solutions. Also critical is taking a user-first approach to software engineering, being acutely aware of the user demand for services for both product and personal development success.

Become an ambassador for new technologies

It’s no longer just the CIO’s role to get behind new tech. The team must be able to make a strong case for the business benefits of implementing new technologies and be able to project the effect on the business' ability to do better through these new technologies, such as improving productivity or customer experience. Understanding emerging proven technologies will be especially critical in the fields of composable applications, cloud platforms and cybersecurity.

By advocating the introduction of new technologies, they open up many opportunities for business and for themselves. Individuals with the right expertise will be offered chances for new challenges, to learn new skills, leading to career development which can keep them motivated and loyal to their teams. This includes the opportunities to specialize in an area of tech, lead innovative projects and contribute directly to the growth of the business. Fully gaining the trust and support of decision-making leaders means understanding key tech and market trends.

Use AI for increased productivity and smarter decisions

The gap between business and technology is closing, and the more engineers understand the business side, the more impact they can have in using AI technologies to solve problems. Hyperautomation will play a big role in increasing productivity, optimizing software testing and DevSecOps, and enabling engineering teams to continuously create excellent digital experiences.

Rapid software development has always been a priority for any good engineering team, but the definition of rapid has changed over the years. Using artificial intelligence and smarter solutions presents a new opportunity for teams to increase their productivity without increasing their workload.

AI-based technologies have developed significantly over the past few years, and increasingly more applications across all industry sectors will use AI to meet business needs and customer expectations. 

Evolution of software engineering

As the role of the software developer itself has changed in just a few years, each year brings huge change to the culture of engineering and its meaning and value within business. The distance between business and technology is closing and the impact of software engineers on today’s data-driven businesses is undeniable, from conception to operations.

The more that engineers understand the business side -- the problem and the context -- the more impact they can make in using technologies to create architectures and systems that work reliably and support future growth and innovation.

Photo Credit: REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock

Lilia Mesechkova is Vice President of Enterprise Products at Progress.

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