Pinpoint today added a User Dashboard to its namesake platform for managing software projects that makes it easier for remote developers to stay focused.
Company CEO Jeff Haynie said the User Dashboard provides developers with a personalized view of their work priorities and schedule for the day. It also provides a means to employ their Pinpoint Profile to highlight personal achievements and engage other engineers on the Pinpoint Platform.
The Pinpoint platform is designed mainly to identify software development bottlenecks that could delay a project. Most recently, the company added machine learning algorithms and advanced analytics to surface additional insights and recommendations.
This latest update extends the use of machine learning algorithms via a Recommended Content feed that curates content from blogs, podcasts and other media based on the observed interests of developers. Much like a built-in RSS feed, Recommended Content is an experiment to see whether the platform can save developer time by eliminating the need to scroll through less-relevant news, said Haynie.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, many organizations are struggling even more to manage distributed or remote developers. It’s also now much easier for developers to become isolated from the rest of their team. The User Dashboard provides a way to engage developers through the same platform managers employ to track projects.
While there is no shortage of collaboration tools, Haynie noted they all tend to be tied to a specific DevOps platform. Pinpoint is designed to automate the process of collecting data from multiple tools, which the platform then analyzes to surface potential bottlenecks in the software development process. As software development projects become more complex, there is a need for a tool to visualize how hidden dependencies might upend delivery schedules, he said.
The User Dashboard now extends that framework out to individual developers, who can view how to prioritize their specific tasks in keeping with a larger set of goals, Haynie added.
Developers don’t typically have a lot of visibility into how their efforts ultimately impact the organization. In the absence of that information, it can become difficult to stay motivated, especially when working from home. Project leaders are now always going to be able to personally engage each developer every day, especially if members of the development team are located in different time zones.
The User Dashboard isn’t a substitute for personal interactions, but it does provide a means for developers to quickly learn at a glance what needs to be done next in a way that serves to minimize miscommunications. It’s not all that uncommon for developers to lose valuable time by being told to do one thing when they should have been focused on a different task.
Less clear is to what degree Pinpoint might be able to flatten management hierarchies within development teams. As a general rule, the fewer managers required the more an organization can allocate funds to hiring developers who, with the aid of the right platform, might one day manage themselves.