How Asynchronous Development Can Boost Productivity

Written by: Kiley Nichols

As developers, we often find ourselves using asynchronous collaboration tools such as GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and so on. One thing these asynchronous collaboration tools have in common is integrating distributed version control with issue tracking methods that teams can use. 

Asynchronous development tools such as CloudBees offer help so you can manage teamwork and make development easier—especially when you're using asynchronous collaboration tools. 

I guess at this point you're wondering what asynchronous development really is, so let's start with that. 

What Asynchronous Development Is

The term asynchronous means "happening at different times." Asynchronous development involves using asynchronous collaboration tools to work in smaller units, in parallel, without affecting the primary application tree. Once that system is established, team members can then work independently, one by one or in smaller units, without waiting for other members to finish working first. 

Smoothly functioning asynchronous development is a beautiful thing. Teams can work together by assigning issues to members. After that, team members and others learn about accomplishments by following thread conversations and reviewing pull requests. Therefore, this method allows continuous delivery and releases because contributions don't pause for any one unit, team, or person. 

Continuous delivery involves testing new codes to detect bugs automatically before pushing them to the development environment. The continuous integration and continuous delivery tools from CloudBees are examples of tools that make asynchronous development easier. These tools perform automated tests on new codes before they add them to the primary application tree. After that, the tools will point out why codes failed and were rejected. 

The development team writes codes and builds them. Then it tests them and ensures they pass before pushing codes to the development environment or application primary tree. 

Now that you know what asynchronous development is, what can you do with it? Let's tackle that next. 

How To Boost Productivity With Asynchronous Development

Asynchronous development is the best approach for hybrid remote teams, full remote teams, and teams that want to unlock their full development prowess. We're going to look at the advantages of asynchronous development and explore how these advantages boost productivity. 

Saving Precious Time

In synchronous development, teams have to wait for certain members to submit their sprints before moving into the next phase. Team members may need to get responses from another team or teams before going ahead with their work. This method eats up a lot of useful time as your colleagues wait and wait and wait. 

For example, a front-end engineer may need to wait for the back-end engineer before starting a design. But what if the front-end engineer can start his or her job in a small unit somewhere, while the back-end engineer is working independently? The back-end engineer can send application programming interface (API) links to the front-end engineer, and they can collaborate. 

As you probably guessed, the method I just described is asynchronous development. With it, team members lose less time because parties can work independently or in smaller units. Conversations are also asynchronous. For instance, the front-end engineer can tell the back-end engineer, "I need you to fix this particular thing." The back-end engineer replies when it's fixed. Saving time is the first step to boosting productivity. 

Continuous Development and Delivery

Continuous delivery involves shipping new features, configuration changes, and bug fixes quickly and safely to users in the production environment using durable methods. Similarly, continuous development involves updating software continually in smaller units rather than updating the whole piece at once. 

Continuous delivery and development work together. With both systems, the goal is to update software by adding new features and fixing bugs continually. This way, users get new features and reduced bugs in applications they love using. The beauty of the continuous development and delivery method is that users need not wait for that very big version release before giving your team some much-needed feedback. 

Increased Flexibility

Asynchronous communication makes it possible for your team to be much more flexible. For instance, let's say a developer receives a message about fixing a bug. The developer understands that fixing a bug may require time. But while that developer is working on it, he or she gets another message to explain a software feature. The developer can prioritize giving immediate response to that second message while still working on fixing bugs. 

This way, the developer chooses priorities. His or her responses don't depend on the traditional turn-by-turn method, in which others must wait in line until the first person gets answers. 

Are there more advantages to asynchronous development? You bet. 

Comprehensive Documentation

There are times when you need to retrieve and fall back on an older version of your project. In the traditional, face-to-face meeting setting, the team may have trouble pinpointing the version they feel safe moving forward with. In synchronous development, it may not be clear who did what and when, especially if group members failed to keep detailed and accurate records. However, there's a better way to figure out where to fall back to. 

An asynchronous collaborating platform gives you room to properly document every step that every team member took, regardless of whether you will use those steps in the future. With this method, future participants know why the team didn't take some routes at some points. It's all properly documented, just in case. 

Modern Tools and Flexible Work Environment

Asynchronous development uses modern technologies and flexible work environments. A very good example is GitHub. With its distributed version control system, developers can work collaboratively, with each person having a copy of the code in their system. 

This method allows many developers to add codes in parallel. GitHub can track each change made, even going back in time. So, developers can track changes they have made and undo changes that they're uncomfortable with. 

The team lead can access and review members' code. He or she adds the code to the primary tree only when the code meets all specifications. 

Tools To Make Asynchronous Development Easier

CloudBees has some tools that make secure asynchronous development easier. Let's look at them briefly. 

Continuous Integration

CloudBees offers a continuous integration tool built on Jenkins, the most widely used automation server in the world. It provides a shared, centrally managed, self-service experience. While using it, you can integrate asynchronous collaborating tools, such as GitHub, Jira, and so on. 

Here are some things you can do using CloudBees CI. 

  • Take advantage of Kubernetes on-premise and public clouds with monthly updates and additional proprietary tools.

  • Manage Jerkins with verified, easily installed, easily upgraded plugins.

  • Work in a compelling environment that makes your team more productive.

  • Create and maintain build pipelines with best practices.

  • Have a developer-centered experience.

Continuous Delivery

The continuous delivery tool from CloudBees is top notch. This tool automates and mobilizes deployments, pipelines and software releases. Also, it has analytics to measure, track and improve results, creating seamless delivery to users. 

Here are the different ways you can boost productivity with CloudBees: 

  • Choose from different deployment strategies for advanced model-based deployment.

  • Maintain releases and deployments on version control systems like Git as codes.

  • Secure deployments with the best possible method, without acquiring downtime.

  • Audit and trace the entire application deployment and delivery process with ease.

Are There Disadvantages To Asynchronous Development?

Today we've looked at what asynchronous development is, and we've considered ways to boost productivity with it. You've seen that asynchronous collaborating tools make it possible to engage in smooth, safe, and productive development. 

While the concept of asynchronous development has many advantages, know that asynchronous collaborating tools have some drawbacks. While developers build in parallel, it's possible to add codes with bugs and jeopardize the primary work tree. This is why CloudBees has made amazing tools to integrate within your asynchronous collaborating tools. With CloudBees tools, you can test codes before adding them to the primary work tree. That way you avoid a serious problem while continuing to deliver smoothly to users. 

You can read more on how CloudBees is helping product owners deliver quality products by changing the traditional development setting. 

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