Developers are hired for their coding skills, but often spend too much time on information-finding, setup tasks, and manual processes. To combat wasted time and effort, Discover® Financial Services championed a few initiatives to help developers get back to what they do best: developing. The result? More than 100,000 hours of developer toil have been automated or eliminated.
“A happy developer is one who’s writing code,” said Joe Mills, Director of Transformation Strategy and Automation at Discover. “So, we strive to create an inspiring culture and an exciting place to build your career. We want it to be easy to deliver value with the skillsets you have and to harness opportunities to refine your craft.”
Streamlining development through tools, knowledge, community
DevWorx is a program that simplifies the developer experience, streamlines work, and frees up time to innovate. Specifically, DevWorx is an online hub where developers across Discover can access prescriptive guidance for repetitive setup or deployment tasks, developer environments, self-service or automation tools, and a community of other developers to collaborate with.
“It’s basically a developer-driven community where we remove barriers to getting work done, focus on efficiency, and really enjoy coding as opposed to it feeling like a slog,” said Jonathan Stoyko, senior manager of strategic projects.
Developers can use DevWorx to standardize duplicate processes and reduce manual tasks. “If there’s a code structure that has to be reused every time you’re creating an application, that structure can be standardized as a template,” said Stoyko. “And we can store it in a common location so everybody has access to it and can contribute to it.”
Increasing productivity with step-by-step tutorials
Golden Paths are a key element of DevWorx. Golden Paths provide step-by-step tutorials for accomplishing specific development tasks within Discover. From making submissions, gathering approvals, and filling out prerequisite forms, Golden Paths covers the entire production lifecycle.
“If someone gets dropped into a new team, they can start coding within minutes and skip months of playing catchup,” said Andrew Duckett, senior principal application engineer and architect. “With Golden Paths, these processes are all codified and readily accessible.”
Developers are encouraged to contribute to existing paths and build new ones based on their own experiences.
Duckett continues: “We believe that it’s better to let the engineering community determine what works best for them, not to put a bunch of people in an ivory tower and dictate what is right. These developers are hired to innovate and solve problems, so we let them do that.”
Reducing manual tasks through automation
Automating manual tasks and repetitive processes is crucial for increasing developer efficiency. “Employing automation for tasks that many engineers face throughout their SDLC helps to shift focus towards human value-add activities. This also increases overall delivery throughput, with higher confidence in our development lifecycle, and produces consistent processes across teams that would otherwise be handled one-off and uniquely” said Joe Mills.
Developers can engage a team of automation experts to assess certain processes and tasks and help uncover automation opportunities. The team uses a hub-and-spoke model to scale their efforts across development teams at Discover and can help teams with robotic process automation, business automation, or code automation.
Reducing friction through consistent development practices
In addition to these initiatives, engineers at Discover adhere to a set of practices, internally called CraftWorx, that define and direct the agile development process. Aligning engineers across these practices reduces friction because engineers and developers are following the same development practices.
“If you’re trying to solve a problem and you think, ‘where’s the answer?’ CraftWorx aims to be that answer,” said Colin Petford, director of technology capability enablement at Discover. “It’s also constantly evolving along with our craft. It will never be finished because technology doesn’t sit still.”
Learn how Discover developers are using automation, Golden Paths, CraftWorx, and more.