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Developer Velocity: Empowering developers to fuel business performance

Developer Velocity isn’t just about increasing the speed of delivery, but about unleashing developer ingenuity—turning developers’ ideas into software that supports the needs of your customers and the goals of your business.

Developers have been drivers of innovation and transformation for decades. They have pioneered innovation across countless industries and helped businesses weather tough conditions. Now, we are living in unprecedented times where organizations in every industry and sector are working to adjust to a new normal, rethinking how business is done and meeting new, changing customer demands.

Because technology underpins everything from how businesses run to the products and services you sell, organizations must learn to excel at developing software. Business leaders need to empower developers to unlock productivity and innovation, in what the industry has started referring to as Developer Velocity.

Developer Velocity isn’t just about increasing the speed of delivery, but about unleashing developer ingenuity—turning developers’ ideas into software that supports the needs of your customers, and the goals of your business.

McKinsey & Company recently conducted a comprehensive review of what it takes for a company to become a technology company (have tech intensity) and converged on a single holistic metric—Developer Velocity Index (DVI). They shared their findings and key insights in their recent Developer Velocity: How software excellence fuels business performance report.

The report concluded that driving business performance from software development comes down to creating the right environment and removing points of friction for developers to innovate. Organizations that recognize this outpace revenue growth up to five times that of their competitors. They also have 60 percent higher total shareholder returns and 20 percent higher operating margins and perform better on customer satisfaction and brand perception.  

Helping every organization increase Developer Velocity

How do you increase Developer Velocity for your organization? Developer Velocity involves focusing on critical enablers and minimizing barriers to developer productivity. Microsoft understands the core enablers as we’ve been building software and tools to support the unique needs of developers for decades. Microsoft’s comprehensive developer toolchain and platforms are designed to help modern developers and development teams. The more you enable developers to build productively, collaborate globally and securely, and scale what they invent, the better business outcomes you’ll see in areas including financial performance, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Build productively with best-in-class tools

In my journey as an engineering and business leader, I’ve learned that a key driver in digital transformation for every company is hiring top talent. Attracting and retaining top engineering talent comes down to providing developers with opportunities to work on interesting projects and enabling them with the best engineering systems and tools to do their job.

According to McKinsey, the leading driver of business performance is best-in-class tools. Organizations with strong tools are 65 percent more innovative, and their developer satisfaction and retention rates are 47 percent higher.

Software development is a constantly evolving craft and developer tools need to reflect the changes in development workflows. As developers’ responsibilities continue to expand to embrace new technologies, it’s important to automate core development processes like testing and CI/CD so that developers can focus on what matters. In addition, empowering developers to use their favorite languages, open source frameworks, and tools helps them be more productive and feel at home.

At Microsoft, we infuse modern development practices and emerging technologies into our tools. Our mission with the Visual Studio product family is to provide best-in-class tools for every developer. I am humbled by the millions of developers around the world who use Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio as their preferred tools every day.

Many development teams have long been distributed and geographically dispersed, but now everyone is making this transition, in addition to new challenges like developers being disconnected from their dedicated dev boxes. To address one of the biggest pain points for developers—setting up a new dev box, a common scenario when engaging on a new project, or moving to remote work, we recently announced Visual Studio Codespaces. Developers can experience Codespaces with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, or directly within GitHub. Codespaces uses the power of the cloud to enable developers to create fully configured development environments in minutes. Today at Build, we're announcing even more innovation to help developers code, collaborate, and ship from anywhere.

Collaborate globally and securely

The top-performing organizations as measured by McKinsey showed that open-source adoption is the biggest differentiator. These organizations are seeing three times more impact from the adoption of open source than the rest of the industry. Organizations that are best-in-class on open source capabilities score 30 percent higher on innovation and 20 percent higher on developer satisfaction.

Open source adoption is not just about the use of open source code or technologies. It’s about embracing an open source mindset—creating a culture of knowledge sharing and contributing to software development to realize the collective power of a broader development team or community. Effective collaboration is the biggest accelerator in helping making teams be more productive and satisfied. 

With GitHub, you can bring the collaboration best practices used by over 50 million developers into your organization. Through empowering collaboration internally, you can both attract and retain the best talent and increase the impact of your software development investments. To ensure GitHub is accessible for all developers, we recently announced that GitHub is free for teams. And to provide a seamless code-to-cloud experience, today we are announcing new integrations for GitHub Actions for Azure. More than 30 GitHub Actions for Azure help your development teams easily create and automate workflows to build, test, package, release, and deploy to Azure. You can learn more about GitHub’s latest announcements here.

Scale your innovation with Azure 

McKinsey identified public-cloud adoption as a catalyst of Developer Velocity is especially strong for non-software companies—public-cloud adoption has four times the impact on their business performance than it does for software companies.

With Azure, we’ve built an end-to-end cloud that enables developers to focus on building apps and not have to worry about the underlying infrastructure the apps run on. Azure supports developers’ favorite languages, open source frameworks, and tools while also creating easy pathways to learn new skills.

Our latest Azure innovations enable developers to build cloud-native applications as well as modernize existing applications. To ensure developers in your organizations can modernize Windows applications, we recently announced the general availability of Windows Server containers for Azure Kubernetes Service. To make it incredibly easy for developers to instantly scale applications on demand with limitless, guaranteed speed and performance, today we announced new innovations to Azure Cosmos DB and considerable cost savings gained by pairing autoscale with the Azure Cosmos DB free tier. Azure also makes it easy for developers to add AI to applications with Azure Cognitive Services. Today, we announced several new capabilities including enhanced voice styles and container support for Azure Cognitive Services.

The McKinsey research also reported that leading companies use low-code and no-code platforms. Companies that utilize this technology score 33 percent higher on innovation compared with bottom-quartile companies. Power Apps offers a low code application development platform designed to rapidly build web and mobile experiences. Today, we’re seeing many of our customers turning to a combination of Power Apps and Azure to quickly deliver solutions that respond to changing business needs. You can learn more about Power Apps and Azure here.

Developing with Azure puts the latest cloud technology and best-in-class tools at the fingertips of developers with a breadth of skills. Today at Build, we're announcing even more innovation in Azure here.

Next steps with Developer Velocity

In times like this, every organization in every industry is evolving to address the current realities. At Microsoft, we're working closely with organizations around the world to build and accelerate the delivery of secure, cost-effective, cloud-based solutions. Companies like Carhartt, Optio3, and Swedish Health Services are examples of organizations increasing Developer Velocity with the support of Microsoft developer tools and cloud platform.

You can learn more about Developer Velocity and how Microsoft can help here. Today, we are also releasing the new Developer Velocity Assessment tool to help you measure your organization’s Developer Velocity Index (DVI) score, get a benchmark relative to peers in your industry, and actionable recommendations and guidance to drive better business outcomes for your organization.

I’d like to welcome every developer around the world to Build 2020. Today’s announcements give developers cutting-edge tools to create the next generation of applications. Please join us at the Microsoft Build 2020 digital event including my Azure: Invent with Purpose keynote. I look forward to seeing what you build!