Software Engineering Used During The Pandemic

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The Coronavirus pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, and the software industry is no exception. Whether you work in the software industry or not, everything depends on software in one way or another. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused software as we know it to adapt and change. These changes mean there are big implications on the technology, processes and culture of software engineering.

Customer-Focused Software Developments

Years ago, software was generally developed and used internally within organisations. Programmes were created for employees to use on behalf of customers, for inputting data or looking up information. More recently, software has changed to help businesses engage directly with their customers, giving them the freedom to complete tasks themselves. Placing orders, submitting claims, viewing account information and requesting service can all be done through software, and it’s revolutionised many industries. The Coronavirus pandemic has seen this trend accelerate at a rapid rate, as businesses are turning to software solutions to support their post-COVID operations. A few examples of how businesses are utilising software during the pandemic are;
  • Pharmacies and chemists are building apps and websites to give customers the freedom to see their prescription orders, get alerts when they are ready to collect, and pay online.
  • Insurance companies have begun creating apps to allow customers to submit their own claims. Policyholders can provide information on incidents over voice, text or video and upload proof to a portal.
By utilising software in this way, insurance companies can reduce staffing requirements and speed up claim processing times.
  • Banks and finance companies are allowing customers to apply for loans online to reduce the number of customers who need to visit branches or call contact centres. Many contact centres have been overwhelmed during the Coronavirus pandemic and have struggled with employees working from home.
Not only that, but more customers are seeking financial help during these unprecedented times, and software allows more loan applications to be processed than ever before.
  • WiFi and broadband providers have started to introduce online troubleshooting websites to help customers with their access points and connectivity. This reduces the number of customers needing to call the company and helps prevent engineers from visiting homes unless absolutely necessary.

Adapting Software Engineering Methodologies

This shift to more customer-focused software and applications has forced a change to the methodologies used by software engineers. Most software engineers have experience and knowledge in creating programmes for internal use, and developing customer-focused software products is a very different task. Traditional Agile methods need some enhancing in order to support these new demands. Agile methodology focuses on the entire team working together to meet the set requirements, to ensure that everything is working from a technical point of view. When creating customer-facing software, the focus needs to be on creating something that customers want to use and enjoy using. There is a new emphasis on building software that is both competitive in the market and also useful to the customer.

Product Owners Are More Important Than Ever

In an Agile team, the Product Owner is the one who has to work very closely with software engineers to build the release. They also get this first release into customers hands and focus on product visioning, market analysis and creating a product roadmap. This role is more important than ever during the pandemic, and as software becomes more customer-centric. They need to successfully communicate customer feedback to the software engineers so that it can be integrated into the next update. With market conditions and customer expectation constantly evolving, the product owner needs to be ready to make corrections during the engineering process.

Moving Software Development Out Of Office

During the Coronavirus pandemic, software development teams have been working from home, which has introduced some unexpected challenges. One of the key strengths of Agile methodologies is that the team has a development rhythm in place. This helps to keep new iterations coming out fast, and changes made quickly. Keeping this rhythm up whilst working from home has been a struggle for many teams. Without the ability to discuss every idea and innovation in person, virtual tools are required to keep communication flowing. Technologies are having to be utilised to support these new virtual software engineering teams. Tools that help to encourage collaboration and idea sharing are essential during the Coronavirus pandemic. Regular virtual meetings, daily catch up calls and learning events are all vital for the success of software development teams during the pandemic.

Software Engineering Training And Development

As the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way software engineers work and challenged the methodologies that have been used for years, many professionals are turning to training. There is no better time to enhance your skills and develop your knowledge of software engineering. Here at TSG Training, we offer a range of software development courses to help you grow your skillset and learn something new. Whether you have been working in software engineering for many years, or new to the industry, we have a course for you. Our Combined ISTQB Foundation & Agile Foundation Extension course is ideal for anyone who is involved with software testing and working on Agile projects. The 5-day course covers the fundamentals of software development and provides the skills needed to pursue a career as a software testing professional. For those more advanced in their careers, our ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst course is perfect for adding to an existing skillset. It is designed for those already in a software testing career and looking to expand into the analysis, specification, design and execution of software. The 4-day course includes all the learning and preparation needed to pass the ISTQB exam.   In addition to our portfolio of online training courses, we have a collection of free webinars on a range of subjects. Our Test Engineers Career Development Programme Webinar is designed to help individuals navigate their career within the software engineering industry. Delivered by John Young and Bernard Melson, the webinar is part of a 5-stream programme on the subject. For more information on our courses and webinars, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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