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Accelerate your developer velocity and unlock your team’s creative potential

4 ways to develop more efficiently and promote a culture of innovation at your agency.

Illustration by Ron Mizrahi.

Profile picture of Jacqueline Dooley

12.15.2023

3 min read

Agencies who balance working on multiple projects with complex code understand: doing more with less is critical.


That's where developer velocity comes in. As a quick refresher, developer velocity measures how fast your developers can complete a project. It looks at the speed, quality and efficiency of their coding, debugging and overall project delivery within a given time period.


The benefits of increased velocity are pretty clear: a faster development team ultimately makes you a more successful agency. But developer velocity is more than just a performance indicator; it’s a way of empowering developers to improve their workflows and ability to collaborate interdepartmentally.





How to accelerate your team's development velocity


There are four main factors that contribute to developer velocity: tools, culture, project management and technical debt. Improvements to any of these elements can help you work more efficiently at scale. Start here:




01. Use the right tools


Using the right tools to meet the unique demands of each project can boost your team’s developer velocity. If you’re building a new site, this could mean using tools like Wix Studio’s development platform that enables developers to quickly ship features while allowing them to integrate their choice of native and third party APIs.


With Wix Studio, you have all the tools you need at your disposal to significantly reduce time to development and significantly enhance the opps for collaboration. Key features that support developer velocity include:


  • Collaborative platform tools that allow your developers work on tasks simultaneously with their choice of a cloud based or local IDE

  • DevOps tools to track, manage and suggest performance improvements

  • Low-or-no code options to develop simple apps and websites 

  • Automation/AI-assistance to speed up code development and strengthen the ideation process (read more about Wix Studio’s AI capabilities)



02. Create a collaborative environment 


To truly improve dev velocity, you’ll need to foster a developer-centric culture at your agency. This means providing your developers with adequate support, resources and the autonomy to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently. 


So, in a sense, dev velocity starts at the top. You’ll need to hire people who are on board with your approach to software development, educate employees about your company values and goals, and provide ongoing support and opportunities for growth.


Once the team is aligned, consider adopting an agile style of managing your development cycles. This approach emphasizes shorter, tighter cycles of feature development comprised of seven stages: planning, designing, developing, testing, deploying, reviewing, then either returning to a stage or proceeding to launch (in that order).


Of course, this doesn't necessarily need to be a formal process but instead a culture of continuous improvement based on observation and feedback. Use post-mortems and regular user testing to close the loop faster.



03. Put the "pro" in project management


Your project management process should focus on speed to market, but also on giving your customers the best experience possible. Those two things can sometimes be at odds, which is why having an organized, streamlined and integrated approach to product development that prioritizes innovation, technology adoption and continuing education are the ingredients that help you achieve better developer velocity.


Wix Studio empowers developers to work on the same client projects simultaneously in their workspace (get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Wix Partners product and UX teams built the new Studio workspace). You can also leverage Wix Studio’s CRM tools for seamless communication with clients: capture leads, manage your inbox, set up marketing automations and capture new leads via submission forms.



04. Don’t let technical debt pile on 


Technical debt is a velocity killer. As complexity scales, legacy systems and tools can slow down developer workflows since developers often need to create workarounds that hinder productivity. To manage this, equip your dev team with the right tools and support experimentation.


Note: Experimentation will inevitably lead to failure from time to time, and that’s okay. Introduce processes such as controlled releases, version rollbacks and team post-mortems to understand what went wrong and improve your workflow in the future. 



An all-in approach to dev velocity


While improving developer velocity is a process that requires dedication and commitment from the entire team, it should be driven by leadership that's supportive and consistent. It’s important to recognize that dev velocity isn’t just a metric for developers; it’s an indication of agency performance. And it’s just one of many. Leadership must also take into account elements such as team dynamics, employee and client satisfaction, ‘planned-to-done’ ratios (how much work is still left on the table) and workload balance among team members. 


Collectively, this creates a supportive environment that emphasizes collaboration and creativity, making it everyone’s job to get projects done as efficiently as possible.


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