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Make Developers Your Champions of Innovation

Developers do more than just write code. Successful digital transformation needs to have developers at the helm of innovation.

Radical innovation is not just disrupting tech stacks, but disrupting mindsets and traditions. The standard role of the developer is no longer just “someone who knows how to write code.” There’s an outdated perception of the developer and software programmer roles that they spend their days just creating endless lines of codes or fixing bugs on a website. In reality, some of the most important work devs do today is problem solving and thinking beyond the normal ways of doing things. 

Opening the Door to Future By Going Back to Basics 

Lots of companies think that their current challenges can be solved if they just buy a different technology solution. But they’re actually just adding another piece on top of the existing problem. If your architects, back-end developers, front-end developers and marketers are all operating from totally separate, siloed systems, it becomes difficult to see beyond your short-term tasks. That’s how businesses get stuck and innovation dies. To progress and go boldly into the future, we need to first get back to basics.

Developers should embrace a component-based model that breaks the application into discrete services and reusable, independent components. By treating each part of a digital experience as an individual component rather than a cog in a larger monolith, it becomes easier to imagine how these unique components could come together in new, exciting ways. The value of a composable architecture is that the experiences you build aren’t constrained to any specific channel or screen. Through open APIs and shared component libraries, experiences can be quickly assembled and delivered to any channel or interface. 

To use the LEGO metaphor, if someone shows you a completed model of a racecar, all you see is a racecar. But if you demolish that model back into individual blocks, you’re suddenly looking at thousands of potential shapes and arrangements like boats, houses, robots and more! That level of agility is essential to staying relevant in our modern world.

Empowering Developers to Do the Work That Actually Matters

Today’s unpredictable landscape has pushed businesses to work faster and do more with fewer resources. So companies are spending less on developer resources and investing more in things like automation and low-code tools that can create technical innovators in traditionally non-technical roles like marketing or design. But no worries, these trends aren’t going to lead to a “the robots are taking our jobs” kind of panic. In fact, the developer role is now more critical and more specialized than ever. As more businesses embrace a no-code/low-code approach to application development and site building, more time is returned to dev teams to handle the big picture issues that no one else can solve.

Rather than being stuck making copy edits on a webpage, developers now have an opportunity to do more of the stuff that creates significant value like creating better integrations, improving testing processes and delivering new product functionalities. Not only does this benefit the company more, but it means that dev and IT teams have a chance to really experiment and grow into true innovators. No one wants to spend 8 hours a day just maintaining the status quo and making sure the website stays up. The real passion and radical innovation comes from having the time and the freedom to think up an approach that’s never been done before and bring that idea to life. 

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For more on how the developer role is changing and how to expand your own skills, explore the developer track sessions at Acquia Engage! 

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