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How to attract, retain, and empower your enterprise developers


By: Ronda Swaney


Attracting enterprise developers can be an uphill battle. Many developers envision themselves working for startups or web-based companies.


How do you convince developers to see the opportunities that arise from working at large enterprises?


Attracting enterprise developers


Enterprise developers can be difficult to attract, retain, and empower. A few simple steps can help you build a strong team.Be honest about your organization. Many enterprises are mired in technology silos and cumbersome processes. However, many also are embracing the changes made possible through the DevOps philosophy. Be honest with developers about your enterprise's vision of the change process. If your enterprise seeks to embrace DevOps, let candidates know. Describe the role you'd like them to play in the transition.


Ask your current team for referrals. Strong and talented developers often know other strong and talented developers. Ask current staff for recommendations.


Look within. Do you have strong team members who lack some of the skills you need? With some investment in training, could they fill your current needs? Training opportunities help attract great candidates and help retain the developers you have.


  Retaining enterprise developers


Nurture the fire. In Through the DevOps Looking Glass: Learnings from HP's Own Transformation Initiative, Ralph Loura, CIO of HP Enterprise Group, says, "How do you start a [DevOps] fire? You start with a few sparks [passionate developers] and some dry tinder [well-chosen projects]. Be careful not to add too much additional fuel to the fire too soon, or to leave it exposed to the elements of corporate governance before the flame catches and is strong enough to survive."


Choose projects carefully. Let your passionate enterprise developers light the fire of DevOps opportunities within your enterprise.


Provide growth opportunities. When planning to transition legacy systems to a DevOps approach, allow your developers to take the lead. DevOps reduces risk by making incremental and well-tested changes. In that safe environment, let less experienced developers lead projects. The chance to grow and learn will make them and your enterprise stronger.


Embrace change. DevOps represents a wholesale change in how IT is done. As you transition from legacy systems to the DevOps philosophy, share what you have learned and how the change is helping the business.


Empowering enterprise developers


Enable greater visibility and control. Employees want to do satisfying work. They want projects they can point to with pride. Openness about outcomes and processes and ceding control to group members empowers your developers to make better choices and own the outcomes.


Let your developers pick passion projects. Your team knows your systems and processes better than you do. They could deliver an innovative change with the potential to transform your business.


Listen and then follow up. Employees want to be heard. You empower your developers when you hear what they have to say. But listening isn't enough. Hear them out and then follow up when the changes they suggest make good business sense.


Your turn

Is your enterprise undergoing transformation? Have you found it hard to build a strong team of enterprise developers? Download the whitepaper Getting grounded with DevOps.



About the author

Ronda SwaneyRonda Swaney


Content marketer focusing on IT, technology, and healthcare for CXOs, consultants, and entrepreneurs. Ronda advises clients on how to best communicate their messaging by taking complex material and simplifying it to engage both tech geeks and the uninitiated.

About the author

Connect with Ronda:

 Follow me on Twitter @RondaSwaney

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