Category Archives: Software

Centers for Excellence in Software Development

We’re seeing a boost in the adoption of CoEs as a new software development and efficiency strategy. But, is it right for your organization?

Rooted in academic and medical environments, centers of excellence — also called competency or capability centers — are hubs of creativity and innovation. They are, for all intents and purposes, a collection of experienced professionals that develop improvement strategies for optimizing processes and value across an organization.

They’ve existed for some time, but we’ve seen a boost in their adoption thanks to an emphasis on distributed development and offshore opportunities. Corporate and organizational outsourcing strategies are becoming more prevalent, and at the same time, there’s a need to accommodate some of the more productive remote processes that are flowing back into a business.

In software development specifically, CoE’s can help organize and streamline various production processes between outsourced and local tasks. Alternate uses include the rollout of new technologies, improving organizational capacities, tending to client needs, or even specialized services — such as generating internal training reports or conducting R&D for new tech projects.

The combined expertise and experience helps assure more efficient operations and the use of industry best practices.

How to assemble a center of excellence for software development outsourcing

The idea behind a center of excellence — at least in software development — is to build a team whose primary task is to enforce and streamline sound development practices. The center helps a business eliminate mistakes and development failures by merely exploring alternate solutions and more efficient methods. They may also be deployed to implement new technologies and systems, manage outsourced client relationships, or kickstart collaborative environments. Ultimately, it depends on why you’re creating the CoE and what you hope to achieve.

Like DevOps, the adoption of a CoE is more of a cultural change. It’s not technology or tool-driven but instead influenced by people.

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You start by choosing the most skilled professionals and experts within your organization and providing them a full-time role in the CoE. Naturally, they will work together to find improvements, which you should then leverage or prioritize across your organization.

What benefits can a CoE provide?

The most significant benefit is, of course, a major overhaul in operational efficiency. Typically, the team stationed within a CoE works to streamline various processes and tasks, reduce costs, achieve goals in less time after expending fewer resources, and boost customer satisfaction. They also achieve this by training or coaching their peers.

It also provides a decrease in risk, particularly when it comes to software and development failures. Even more so in an outsourcing or external development environment. This is because a brand’s standards and processes are honored across the entirety of a task, even when handled by a third-party. Ultimately, the CoE team ensures proper communication between departments and teams throughout the scope of a project.

Risk is also mitigated because the CoE is constantly measuring the success of various tasks, processes, and projects. If something is not going appropriately, the team will explore new methods which can effectively replace the old one(s). Except that this is done alongside normal development. Nothing has to stop or be delayed unless of course, the problem will pose significant issues later on.

Finally, the CoE team has access to the necessary resources to define and measure ROI and organizational impact. They can see right away when something is not working or needs to be handled differently. This extends to their own strategies, allowing them to gauge performance even for new methods or frameworks they deploy.

Centers of Excellence create a persistent environment of improvement within a company, generating frequent efficiency changes without hurting the larger operation. They will, however, require executive buy-in and support as well as a reliable source of funding, so plan accordingly. https://www.pslcorp.com/outsource-web-development/

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PSL Corp Featured in Fortune 500 Magazine

For the past 14 years, IAOP has been curating an annual list of the best offshore software development companies from around the world. The scoring is rigorous and only companies that can demonstrate excellence across size and growth; customer references, awards & certifications, programs for innovation, and Corporate Social Responsibity will make the list.

In 2018, PSL Corp was named to the GO100 list and given distinguishing stars in customer references, awards & certifications, and Corporate Social Responsibility. The list was featured in the June 2018 edition of Fortune, and continues to be a glowing recommendation.

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PSL has always focused on exceeding client expectations, building strong corporate social responsibility programs to give back to the communities where PSL works, and we believe this award is one step closer to achieving those goals.

While we strive for the company to succeed as a business venture, our work will always be conducted with the clear purpose of making a difference, providing meaning and ultimately contributing to the nations in which we operate. As a software outsourcing provider with a nearshoring model, our work extends far beyond the borders of Colombia, so we make an effort to ensure our CSR impact extends far beyond our offices in Bogotá, Medellin, and Mexico City.

As such, PSL directs robust CSR initiatives within the sphere of Community Involvement and Development, such as PSL-taught university courses in partnership with local universities, empowering women in tech, hosting tech engagement meetups and activities, planning Hackathons and much more.

To find out more about the award, view the latest press release.

To learn more about PSL and Programs for Corporate Social Responsibility, visit our blog. www.pslcorp.com

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Microservices – Unraveling the Mystery

This article was first published on the Oracle for Developers blog.

More and more companies are looking to orient to a microservices architecture as their business processes and interactions become more complex and exist on a grand scale. For those of you that are new to the game, microservices provide a software architecture that organizes applications as modular services. A microservices-oriented architecture seeks to deploy applications as a set of separate services running different processes that communicate through light, flexible protocols. As such, each microservice can feature a different language; can receive individualized, targeted updates; and has the potential to scale exponentially without affecting the other services of the system. IT outsourcing companies via PSL

Ideally, the flexibility of microservices translates to swifter deployments and updates to particular areas of the system, increased innovation from specialized teams, and improved capacity for rapid expansion. This style of architecture also allows companies to avoid cascading failures by separating modules and building robust practices in continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI), allowing team members to catch mistakes much faster.

But, you already know that because, right now, you’re ready to jump into microservices and you need to know how to structure your implementation in the best way possible. My colleagues and I followed a real-time, self-directed approach to implementing microservices and we’ve learned quite a lot. To help guide you through the process, we’ve put together our top recommendations when adopting microservices.

Clearly Outline Your Business Structure
A clearly defined business structure will make developing a microservices architecture much more successful from the beginning. Most of the benefits of a microservices architecture are due to the fact that systems are separated and teams can be divided based on business capabilities. However, your company might not be large enough to build specialized teams to work on individualized, complex projects.

Think about these questions:

Do you have both the monetary and human resources available to implement these projects in a responsible, successful manner?
Are you able to cover the implementation costs of adopting microservices?
Are you willing to accept the short-term productivity costs of microservices?
Will your organization run more smoothly on a microservices architecture?
The productivity cost of microservices is high, and microservices are worth undertaking only for large and complex software projects. Be realistic about your ability to take on these productivity costs and what that will mean for your team, your bottom line, and your customers.

Utilize Your Team’s Strengths
Your team is your greatest asset and the deciding factor when determining if your microservices approach will be successful. When switching to a microservices-oriented architecture, you’ll have the opportunity to create specialized development teams. Keep the teams small and interdisciplinary. When bringing individuals together and building teams around your capabilities, consider the “two pizza rule” coined by Jeff Bezos. In case you haven’t heard it before, it posits that you should never have a team or a meeting that requires more than two pizzas to feed everyone.

Adhering to the Agile and DevOps methodologies can be hugely beneficial when undertaking a complex architecture such as microservices. Consequently, your teams should be well versed in these principles. More specifically, take into account the level of experience and understanding your team displays in terms of CD and CI or, more simply, automation and collaboration. High levels of competency are incredibly important for the success of your microservices implementation.

Leverage the expertise of each team member to give your company a competitive and innovative advantage. So, take the time to think about where and with whom each team member will perform best. If your team is not yet technically up to the challenge, consider working with an external partner that has the skills and experience necessary to complete the project while you continue training your team.

Map Your Company’s Trajectory
A microservices architecture is not suitable for every company. To help ensure your company is on the right track, map your expected trajectory for the next few years. Then, use this to determine how microservices will impact your intended growth. Are you going to need to deploy to at least two domains that are built around different business capabilities? Will a monolith application still work efficiently for you in most cases?

Being realistic about your projected growth can help you understand the implementation and productivity costs of adopting microservices. You might never reach the scale of operations of an Amazon or Airbnb, and if a microservices architecture doesn’t seem to be in your near future, don’t push yourself to adopt an architecture that won’t provide the benefits you need. If your architecture doesn’t need to be complicated, don’t make it so.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, be very clear about how this shift will change your user experience or your client journey. With microservices, are your customers able to solve problems easily? Will they be receiving a better product or service after each deployment?

Bounded Contexts Are Your Friend
Hopefully, you’ve done your homework and you’re familiar with domain-driven design (DDD) and the concept of bounded Contexts (BCs). Essentially, BCs are clear boundaries that separate a domain, or the subdomain it uses, and clearly define the interrelationships between the participating contexts. These boundaries are incredibly important when using microservices, because they help to highlight when BCs interact and when activities or information needs to be translated between two BCs. In order to clearly display this information across teams, create a concept map that clearly outlines each BC, its relationship to the other BCs, and how the BCs communicate and share data.

Additionally, make sure you align your development team structure to the BCs you have defined. To reap the benefits of a microservices architecture, your teams should be built around business capabilities. You should not develop transversal teams that create new silos and reduce the independence of your delivery teams. You should be developing a competitive advantage by being able to release new functionalities to the market through your specialized teams.

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Consider the Size of Your Microservices
There are several different schools of thought when it comes to the size of your microservices. Stefan Tilkov, cofounder of innoQ, recommends choosing a variety of structuring systems and avoiding making your services too small, because this will lead to too many “self-contained systems.” Lightbend founder, Jonas Bonér adds that a single-entity approach to microservices will eventually lead to a system that no longer represents the domain and then poses serious problems.

To start, each microservice should represent a business capacity. This allows you to focus and orient your teams appropriately. However, the size should really depend on how cohesive the concepts are within the domain model, within their BCs and the ubiquitous language used. Essentially, each microservice should represent a business capacity and focus on completing that functionality well, independent of other services.

Conclusion
We hope that following our guidelines and best practices will give you a solid foundation on which to start developing your microservices architecture. We know this article does not provide a comprehensive list, but it provides a highlight of the things we found most important to consider. I’d be very interested to hear how you’ve switched or maintained microservices efficiently, so don’t hesitate to get in touch! For more info: https://www.pslcorp.com/it-outsourcing-services-companies/

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