Christina Mattinson
Dec 2, 2015
2 mins reading time

Feedback and Software Development

There are a number of opportunities to collect feedback when developing a product, and some are more obvious than others. Some development teams are more familiar, confident and self aware of how and when they can ask for feedback. I recently went to a talk on feedback loops whilst attending the Global Scrum Gathering in Prague, Luca Mezzalira presented and he was very effective in summarising the different opportunities for feedback and the benefits.

Each Scrum event creates the perfect environment and opportunity for feedback:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Reviews
  • Retrospectives

There are also a number of opportunities to seek and give feedback which are specific to the software development process:

  • Continuous integration
  • Automated testing
  • Pair programming
  • Code review
  • Static analysis
  • Manual/use case testing
  • Emergent design

Feedback adds so much value to anyone’s work, and to actively seek it will only have a positive impact, such as:

  • Knowledge sharing
  • Finding defects sooner (which saves money)
  • The product is better for the end user (you sometimes can’t see the obvious if you work on something for too long)
  • Better code quality and more maintainable platforms
  • Improved performance

From my own experience the biggest challenge to creating an effective feedback loop is culture. Seeking feedback is not something that comes easily for some, there is a fear that by asking someone for feedback you are creating something else to add on their To Do list, or you are burdening them, or you will come across as incompetent.

Feedback has many benefits, and I find it is a natural instinct for people to want to help each other, so ask. You may even feel more inclined to give your feedback in return, everyone has value to add.

Tags scrum, feedback, software