Sunday, December 4, 2022

Product Engineering Mindset: How Does it Help in Software Development?

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Toyota is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota City, Japan. In the mid 2000’s the company had to face several issues. First, many customers globally reported that the car accelerated without touching the pad. This issue later led to many accidents. 

Due to this, Toyota recalled millions of vehicles, and its stock prices plunged by 20 percent. The investigation into the matter revealed that a software error caused the vehicles’ unintended acceleration. Moreover, there were issues with memory corruption, wrong memory handling, disabling safety systems, systems with single points of failure, and some global variables. 

The Toyota incident reveals that an end-to-end product engineering mindset is necessary, amongst all other programming best practices, to ensure one gets the intended product. 

Source – Bitsrc

Failure of Software Development Projects

Software development is growing each year. There are roughly 4.3 million developers in the US, while Europe has over 6 million developers. If the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be believed, the demand for software product engineering services will grow by 22%.

A 2014 survey of PwC revealed that close to only 2.5% of companies are successful with all of their projects. At other times, the teams need to reach the intended objectives. There are several reasons behind the failure of a development project. 

Frequently changing project requirements affect the development cycle. A report reveals that changing objectives leads to 36% of failed projects. A KPMG report showed that nearly 70% of organizations suffered a project failure in 2020. 50% of the projects, however, did reach the end but failed to meet the actual objective. A Chaos Report found that only 29% of IT projects were successful in the same duration, while 19% were failures. 

Too many features also lead to project failures. A software product engineering company will need to test products extensively. Approximately 47% of applications take more time to test. Moreover, products with multiple features require more time in testing. The pressure to release a large product in time leads to technical failures.

70%of users abandon the application if it is too slow to load. Therefore, the decision regarding the appropriate platform is necessary. A wrong platform can lead to major technical issues that may drive the team away from the objective. Furthermore, starting the project from the beginning can lead to dealing with improper documentation, additional cost and time, and trouble for the new team.

Roughly 29% of users abandon the application immediately if they do not find it helpful. Overall, market research can help teams to avoid this problem. However, in reality, the teams need help understanding the market-driven adaptability and scalability factors.

Software development projects that follow a limited approach seldom fail. A product-minded engineer with a sense of ownership of the product is important for achieving success. At the same time, an Agile product engineering mindset is something development companies should pay attention to.

What is a Product Engineering Mindset?

Developers with a software product engineering mindset have a great interest in the product itself. Such engineers like to understand how people use the product and love to be deeply involved in product decision-making. 

A software developer mindset focused on the product helps to produce better product engineers. It is the process of innovating, designing, developing, testing, and deploying a software product. Web 2.0 technologies and utility software delivery through Software as a Service (SaaS) has transformed software product engineering solutions from traditional models to product engineering.

Product engineering deals with the end-to-end process right from the innovation phase, starting from the ideation to the deployment and user acceptance testing phase. Product engineers are not just concerned with a part of the development cycle; instead, they are involved with the entire development process.

These are the traits that define a software product engineering mindset – 

1. Proactive Innovation

A product engineering mindset promotes experimentation, and therefore it is proactive when finding solutions to problems that haven’t even surfaced. 

Engineers with this mindset do not wait for specifications or instructions. Rather they approach the product managers with their ideas related to product engineering software. They suggest alternative approaches that save time and the cost of the project.

2. Focus on Consumer and the Business

Unlike a software developer, a product engineer likes to think from an end user’s perspective. They are empathetic towards the users and therefore think about what benefits they can gain from the product. 

At the same time, they like to also think about the business. They gather metrics for analyzing the product mix and the company’s goal. 

3. Curiosity

A trusted software engineering partner with a product engineering mindset has many questions about everything within the project’s scope. Often they are self-sufficient in finding answers to various questions by themselves. For other inquiries, they turn to product managers and other stakeholders. 

This inquisitive nature helps them understand the software product’s soul and develop good relations with others.

4. Adaptable

Technology is ever-changing. Good software product engineering services never fix at just one technology stack. They remain agile, flexible, and adaptable to the technological advancements happening around them. 

Incorporating new technologies helps with increased efficiency and acceptability of the product in the market. Therefore a true product-minded engineer needs to be aware of their surroundings. 

Product Engineer vs. Software Engineer

While we understand the core difference in the mindset between a product engineer and a software engineer, let’s look at other factors that separate them. 

1. Core Focus

  • Software engineers are focused on just the coding task. They do not focus on the big picture and are only concerned with coding.
  • Product engineers focus on the complete picture. They look at solving customers’ problems, adding features, modifications, and communicating with the stakeholders.

2. Ownership

  • Software engineers write the code and hand over the patch to the next team for further procedures. They do not take part in the QA, testing, and maintenance of the Software.
  • Product engineers are responsible for managing product issues. They closely watch the development and notify the issues to concerned teams for rectification. 

3. Approach

  • A software engineer does not focus on management. They are more about creativity and critical thinking.
  • Product engineers take care of a wide variety of things. They are more of a problem sovereign than just engineers. They focus on managing and understanding the process.

4. Flexibility

  • A software developer mindset only focuses on coding and nothing else. A software engineer does not deal with the product ROI or how it is performing ultimately. 
  • A software product engineering company focuses on the proper execution of the development process. The product engineers are flexible as they have to find ways to do the same things in a better way.

5. Production Management

  • Software engineers do not get involved with production issues. The team works on a set of code and once it is completed, they move ahead. 
  • Product engineers work on production issues as well. They keep the production in check and notify any issues as and when they arise. Therefore, they remain in close contact with the inner workings of the product.

Conclusion

The debate between product engineer vs software engineer is never-ending. However, product engineering is better since it focuses more on the entire project. Also, the software product engineering approach initiates right from what the user needs. Therefore, the mindset is more likely to design and deliver software solutions that ensure the clients have a whale of a time. Professional developers, such as those who are a part of Tntra engineering teams, provide product engineering 

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