Why Adopting Continuous Preview Environments Can Help Boost Your Overall Development Velocity

continuous preview environment development

It has always been a core belief that accuracy and efficiency are each core priorities when it comes to software development and project management. These qualities impact the entirety of the finished product, from the speed at which work and tasks are able to be completed to the quality of the experience that users can expect.

These core values all make the case for why adding preview environments to workflows is a rising trend and best practice in the software development space. In addition to helping to improve both the accuracy and efficiency of the final product, they also help to make sure that key stakeholders are on the same page and that they are moving in the same direction, towards the same goal, at all times.

Why Continuous Preview Environments Matter

One of the biggest reasons why continuous preview environments make such a difference in the world of software development has to do with the “bird’s eye view” of the process that they allow you to take.

Whenever adding a new feature, you’re servicing a few different masters at the same time. For starters, you need to think about the feature itself. What it promises to do, what results users expect from it, what goal it is trying to help them accomplish, etc. Then, you need to consider this addition within the context of the larger software product itself.

By adopting on-demand preview environments, a team can test out new features in isolation by way of a clean, production-like environment. This dramatically improves the efficiency at which new features can be tested. It also reduces the number of variables that are present as well. It allows teams to laser-focus their attention on tackling one goal at a time. This makes sure that features can be working effectively before successfully merging.

Preview Environments Help Eliminate Guesswork

This also helps to address a number of the issues that are inherent in a scenario with a narrower focus. When something is tested in a “dirty” or inherently unstable environment, the large volumes of untested code that have been deployed can negatively impact the feature you are focusing on at the moment. If you encounter an issue, you can’t be sure if it’s baked into the new feature. Or if it is symptomatic of some larger problem taking place within the application itself. A continuous preview environment helps to eliminate this type of guesswork. It allows people to make sure that they’re making decisions based on the most complete and accurate information possible.

If you don’t know what issue has caused the problem, you may be able to prevent it temporarily. But, there’s no guarantee that it won’t occur again. Preview environments help with this as well. They again provide an invaluable context surrounding what is happening and, most critically, why.

Additionally, this generates other benefits for the software development process. Chief among these include a far shorter feedback cycle than previously expected. By testing out features in a continuous preview environment you can communicate comments and criticism rapidly, allowing you to act on this insight in a way that significantly shortens the overall time to market as well.

In a larger sense, industry leaders like Uffizzi are making it possible for teams to add these types of continuous preview environments to their workflows, helping increase both ownership and autonomy during the development process. These environments take you through a sequential process, from developing features, previewing and accepting those features, to ultimately merging. Uffizzi empowers team members to actively and conveniently participate in the quality assurance and review processes. This includes individual developers and engineers, product managers, and more.

They Help Reduce Costs

From an organizational perspective, continuous preview environments also go a long way toward reducing costs across the board. Think about all the time (and money) spent on manually setting up the various environments necessary for testing. Also, consider the costs associated with not only configuration but also managing a database. Additionally, consider those working within a particular infrastructure, and more.

Continuous preview environments make this process far more iterative, it’s a proactive approach, rather than reactionary. Rather than waiting for something to break or for a problem to solve so that it can be fixed, these issues are eliminated altogether.

Increase Efficiency, Development Velocity, and Reliability

By adopting continuous preview environments, you test the efficiency and reliability of any new feature about to be implemented. Also, users see how making a change in one area of the software impacts the other on a grand scale. This helps teams make sure that new functionality adds a purpose. A purpose that ultimately adds more value for users in a way that improves the overall quality of experience.

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