Navigating SaaS as a software engineer

In episode 5 of the Unleashed Academy podcast, Dylan talks to Garrick: one of the Development Team Lead at Unleashed. In this podcast, Garrick covers the evolution of software development and how this has changed with the growth of the SaaS model. As Unleashed has moved from startup to established business the software development processes has also dramatically altered, Garrick explains how the business processes have changed and the importance of user interface/experience in the delivery of a great software product.

2:22 The Evolution of software development

Garrick discusses how software development has evolved with the introduction of SaaS. The nature of bug fixing has now moved from resolving individual issues that often relate to the users’ environment to being a global issue in the software.

10:45 The biggest challenges in leading software development

Some of the largest challenges can be working out what has caused a users problems. Users often struggle to provide accurate information or can not access it themselves. Garrick discusses how Unleashed work with customers to overcome these issues.

17:02 How the development process changes in the move from Startup to established business

In the startup phase, developers are working to create a product as quickly as possible to get it to market so as to obtain feedback. As the business scales development has to become more process driven, you are now working with a much greater number of customers and so there is the requirement to keep the system running and ensure customers still know how to use it for their business workflows. More focused product management also becomes important. There is also a move to a more regular release cycle.

22:10 How to ensure your data is secure in the cloud

Providers need to demonstrate the stability of their product to users. Having a regular maintenance cycle and a proactive approach to bug fixing helps to establish credibility.

25:15 The importance of user interface/experience

It is very important to put yourself in the user’s seat when developing a feature. As a developer one can often be focused on making a feature work rather than considering what it is like to use. When features are easy to use and intuitive users are more willing to use the software.