Next Workshop: Maven Build Cache Deep Dive – June 9th (9am – 12pm PDT). Learn more and register here.
Productivity Engineering Challenges and Pain Points
If you have been tasked with launching a dedicated Developer Productivity Engineering (DPE) function or program management office (PMO) or are self-driven to make this a career-defining move, the Gradle Enterprise solution represents the key enabling technology platform to address your critical developer productivity challenges and pain points. Typically, these include the ability to:
Prove and quantify the impact of DPE tools and best practices to the engineering leadership team, including the ability to present credible, hard savings from faster feedback cycles and more efficient troubleshooting.
Be more data driven when driving, prioritizing, and justifying DPE goals and objectives; providing metric/trend observability; and optimizing DPE performance and failure rates, including the rate of flaky tests.
Build a collaborative and trusted relationship with devs and a culture of accountability, including empowering devs with self-service troubleshooting tools and incentivizing the right developer behavior when nobody’s looking.
Gradle Enterprise provides analytics for every build and test that can be aggregated to determine average time savings. These time savings can be easily translated into hard developer cost savings. This and other ROI contributions can be modeled and tracked using our online calculator. This, in turn, can be used to build a business case for DPE or justify on-going investment in your Developer Productivity Engineering PMO.
PMO success also depends on the ability to facilitate collaboration between developer productivity engineering staff and dev teams by, for example, making the management of support requests more efficient. Another key is the ability to monitor build and test performance trends and identify insights that facilitate continuous learning and improvement over time. The following Gradle Enterprise solution capabilities are key enablers for addressing these and other success factors:
Gradle Enterprise Performance Acceleration technologies (including Build Cache, Predictive Test Selection, Test Distribution and Performance Continuity) address the pain of unnecessary developer idle time waiting for builds and tests to complete. They enable DPE teams to drive happier and more productive developers with faster feedback cycles that keep developers in the creative flow and minimize context switching. Typical Gradle Enterprise customers cut build & test times 50-90% using just one of these technologies.
The Build Scan service gives developers deep data for every build so they can quickly find the root cause and fix their own problems without re-running broken builds to reproduce problems or requiring the help of your DPE or build team. When help from your team is required, collaborating with the dev teams on fixes is as easy as sharing a Build Scan link. In combination with failure analytics (described next), Gradle Enterprise customers report reducing troubleshooting (MTTR) time on average by two-thirds.
Unreliable builds cause downtime, waste compute resources and are a massive distraction. They also negatively affect the quality of the code that is shipped. Builds become unreliable when problems are too expensive to find, too hard to reproduce, and when fixes can not be correctly prioritized because their relative impact is unknown.
Build and Test Failure Analytics leverage data to proactively find unreliable builds and tests, learn how many people and environments are affected by problems (like flaky tests), share information about them, and understand the root cause efficiently. As a result, developers have confidence in the build logic and test suites which encourages a culture of accountability and good behavior.
Finally, your PMO is in an ideal place organizationally to use Gradle Enterprise to aggregate the outcomes of builds and tests across a development organization, or multiple organizations. Your productivity engineers can then swiftly isolate bottlenecks and proactively cascade actionable tactics back to developers. Developers can also discover these on their own by accessing a shared central dashboard.
Trends and Insights
Trends & Insights enable developer productivity PMOs to observe performance and reliability baselines and anomalous trends. With these insights your PMO can respond proactively to systemic problems and longer-term performance regressions rather than being complaint focused. Trends & Insights, combined with a dedicated team (e.g., PMO) to monitor and act on them, provides the foundation for building an always learning and continuously improving software engineering culture.
The dedicated DPE team I lead at Elastic relies on Gradle Enterprise to address our build & test acceleration and data analytic challenges and to achieve our DevX goals.
Senior Software Engineer