Why Continuous Delivery is Key for Developer Career Success

| February 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

When people talk about Continuous Delivery, it’s usually in the context of how it improves the software delivery process and contributes to generating business revenue. Both are true and valid points, but they don’t directly address the opportunities for career growth Continuous Delivery offers for developers.

Keep in mind that Continuous Delivery is not a flash in the pan. The concept has been around since at least 2010 when Dave Farley and Jez Humble released their top-selling book on the topic. Continuous Delivery has also been adopted by many of the world’s most successful companies, including Amazon, Etsy, Google and Facebook. A natural extension of Agile, Continuous Delivery expands efficiencies downstream into QA and operations, improving the flow of work for everyone across the pipeline, from design through production.

At the very least, Continuous Delivery poses a practical imperative for developers to learn its methods and practices. But as a person who hires and mentors developers, the advantages of Continuous Delivery go way beyond that. It offers huge benefits for developers who want to improve their job satisfaction, build technical and professional skills, and become the next innovators. Continuous Delivery gives an edge to developers who want to stand out from a crowd of very talented players. If that describes you, read on.

Boost job satisfaction

I’ve seen it many times in my career. Developers of all ages, burning out from too many late nights and weekends fixing problems; frustration over a lack of control; and loss of enthusiasm because they’re buried under boring tasks. Continuous Delivery helps increase job satisfaction by reducing development drudgery. Some advantages of Continuous Delivery include:

  • Self-service; no waiting for operations to create deployment environments
  • Time to focus on building great apps that create business value
  • Fewer release delays because of bottlenecks
  • Automation of tedious work, like configuring environments, dealing with compliance steps, and maintaining deployment – scripts that will be painful to maintain over the long haul
  • Less time spent getting approvals
  • Fewer last-minute surprises during deployment
  • Faster feedback from users so you can create better software
  • Continuous Delivery allows you to spend more energy on the technical work you love and less time doing stuff that does very little for your career development and may even commodify you.

Position yourself for the best projects

This is a big issue for new developers. How do you become part of your company’s best projects if your head is down maintaining scripts or dealing with operations handoffs? Continuous Delivery offers enormous opportunities for developers to shed the tedious stuff and make themselves available to work on innovative initiatives. It’s a great chance to shine within your current company and build the skills and knowledge needed to grow your career.

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The value of being an innovator

Want to really differentiate? Then you need to be an innovator. In addition to talent, innovation requires two basic things: 1) the opportunity to develop vanguard projects, and 2) the time to do it. As mentioned earlier, so many cool companies are adopting DevOps and Continuous Delivery. If your dream is to work for them, you’ll be well-positioned if you can show that you know the principles, practices, and tools of Continuous Delivery and can innovate in a DevOps environment. With respect to time, efficiency is at the core of Continuous Delivery. It automates tasks that developers find the most time-consuming so they can build great code and demonstrate their creative creds.

Jump on board

If your company has or is thinking about adopting a Continuous Delivery model for software development and release process, jump on board now. It will not only make your life easier and more enjoyable in your current job, but it will prepare you to achieve the highest levels of skills and knowledge necessary to carve out a successful development career.


Martin van Vliet

About the Author ()

As Vice President of Engineering for XebiaLabs, Martin oversees development of XebiaLabs products. He has over 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry, building and leading software development teams. As a member of the senior leadership team, Martin contributes to company strategic direction and aligns software development with overall business and commercial objectives.