Exploring DORA: How can science help you become a top developer?

Photo by Steven Lelham on Unsplash

Data-focused development? Is it necessary?

When it comes to working as a developer, data isn’t just a necessary element of your work – it’s everything your work could be considered as. However, just because you can’t avoid working with and utilizing data, doesn’t mean that your approach when working always tends to be entirely focused on data either.

If this sounds familiar, you might not be best utilizing the data in front of you – an issue every developer should be wary of. A data-driven approach is often understood to be the best means of completing your work, for the better you can appreciate and understand the data you are working with, the better you can improve your work for fully understanding what you are measuring.

It’s also important to note that top developers also strike some similarities with elite athletes, as they have to use the same muscles over and over again, practicing, and learning from their mistakes to push past what they would have been previously capable of. So, while working with data might seem to be as a far cry from a 200m sprint you’ve waited your whole life for, the principle is the same – learn your craft, practice, and innovate, and you will be able to conquer it.

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DORA and the difference it can make

When it comes to an understanding and utilizing data to the best of your abilities, it isn’t wrong to require a little help. It’s highly recommended that you search out and use tools that will further help you in your work, such as DORA. DORA is a framework that has been developed by Google to assist developers in their research.

DORA’s State of DevOps research program represents seven years of research and data from over 32,000 professionals globally, making its research academically rigorous and independent – and therefore a goldmine for every developer out there looking to better understand the numbers they’re working with. Unbiased views into practices and capabilities that functionally drive high performance in technology and organizational outcomes are sources of information that every developer may not initially know exists or thinks to access. Still, it could certainly revolutionize their working capabilities and efficiency.

Photo by Rajeshwar Bachu on Unsplash

DORA works as a system that uses four metrics to classify its teams and work. These can be understood as elite, high, medium or low performers. These metrics are ultimately based on different software delivery elements that range from (but also incorporate) deployment frequency, lead time for changes, mean-time-to-restore, and change fail rate. DORA ultimately provides enough information that is organized efficiently, therefore making it easy to explore and collect, that it helps you improve at your own personal rate. So, whether you’re working slower than usual, or unable to understand which of your ha

bits are the ones that are continuously holding you back, DORA can pinpoint these very issues out to you, making them obvious enough that it becomes impossible to allow them to continue needlessly.

Innovation as a means of improvement

Being a developer is all about boosting your performance and creating the highest quality of work you can. This is only possible if you’re confident and brave enough to innovate upon your means of working and thinking to strive to do better—another reason for utilizing tools made by other developers who have already innovated from DORA.

Using Adadot, for example, the world’s first tracker for work inspired by the detail of fitness trackers, you’ll soon be sure how to rectify professional mistakes you didn’t even realize you were making to boost your performance through a collaboration of data and an analyzing of your productivity. Once you’ve collected enough data about yourself and your work habits and metrics, you can track yourself against other elite developers to chart your progress and allow yourself to become inspired by some of the greats. Comparing your current work with your previous performances will also help you uncover how well you are progressing and what still needs working on.

If you find yourself worried about how much time it will take to input all of this data into Adadot, then you’ll be relieved to hear that it’s fully automated and able to be integrated very simply into Gitlab and Slack, with Google Workspace integration on the horizon too. With more features on the way, there’s a seemingly endless availability for change and motivation on the way. As a successful developer, you need to be open to finding whatever ways of working suit you best to help you work as efficiently and as productively as possible.

Work smarter, not harder

Ultimately, working as hard as you can only get you so far, and it’s true that sometimes working smarter makes more of a difference than simply putting in a more misdirected effort. It’s important that you look around you and see how other developers are working – what goals they’re hitting, what software they are using, and how they have worked on improving themselves. Using your peers as a benchmark can often show you what you’re doing right, and wrong.

It’s important that you look after yourself too, making sure you’re not burning yourself out. Often, it becomes easy to overwhelm yourself with numbers when you’re in dire need of looking away from the screen, drinking enough water, getting some fresh air and stretching your legs more often. Yet again, pushing yourself to the limits to work hard can only get you so far – sometimes, you need to put other things first.

So, while working with data might seem to be as a far cry from a 200m sprint you’ve waited your whole life for, the principle is the same – learn your craft, practice, and innovate, and you will be able to conquer it.

And finally, when it comes to improving your work as a developer, it’s important that you remember it’s not something that will change drastically overnight. Remember what we said earlier about a top developer being similar to being an Olympic athlete – it takes hard work, effort, innovation and, perhaps most importantly, time. As much as we all want to be drastically better at our work overnight, it’s simply not realistic. But, if you keep working hard and utilizing smart ways to improve, it will happen eventually. And that’s a promise.

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