DX included in the Thoughtworks Technology Radar

Brook Perry

Head of Marketing

DX’s DevEx 360 product has been included in the most recent Thoughtworks Technology Radar, which offers insights into the tools and techniques organizations are adopting today. 

Here, we’ll share more about the Radar and the significance of being included in a report. 

What is the Thoughtworks Tech Radar? 

The Tech Radar is Thoughtworks’ guidance on the technologies to which Thoughtworks has been exposed. Engineering leaders widely use it to identify and de-risk technologies and practices that are relevant to them.

There are a few defining characteristics of the report: 

  • It’s grounded in real-world experience. The Tech Radar is firmly based on the practical experiences of Thoughtworks’ teams with the technologies they use. This approach ensures that the insights and recommendations are rooted in real-world applications, including any challenges or limitations.
  • It’s independent. Vendors cannot influence the inclusion of technologies in the Tech Radar. Instead, it is solely based on whether Thoughtworks’ teams have used the technology and their specific experiences. This policy underscores the report’s commitment to unbiased and genuine evaluations. 
  • It only covers the most relevant technologies. Each Radar is a snapshot of what Thoughtworks has seen in the past six months. If something is not on the Radar, it may be because it was mentioned in an earlier report. Erik Dörnenburg, CTO - Europe at Thoughtworks, says, “We do not keep everything on the radar. Every six months, we report on what we’ve discovered for ourselves in the previous six months, and that is what we report on.”

Learn more about how the Tech Radar is produced in our interview with Rebecca Parsons, Erik Dörnenburg, and Camilla Crispim on the Engineering Enablement podcast. 

How to read the report 

Each Radar has four rings: Hold, Assess, Trial, and Adopt. Here’s how Thoughtworks CTO Rebecca Parsons, describes what each ring means: 

  • The outer ring is the Hold ring. “This is probably the most ambiguous ring because it might mean ‘don’t go there yet, it’s not ready,’ Parsons says. “Or it might mean, ‘please stop doing this; this is not a good idea anymore.’” 
  • Then there’s the Assess ring, which means, “This looks interesting.” Parsons explains: “We’re not saying you should use it yet, but this might be something you want to look at.” 
  • Thoughtworks has actual production experience with the Trial ring. This is something that they believe their enterprise clients can use in real projects. 
  • Then, the Adopt ring is something that they think is the sensible default for its category. 

Key themes from recent reports

Each Radar distills the key themes from that report. Here’s a summary of the themes from recent issues: 

  • *Measuring developer productivity, where DX’s DevEx 360 was included:***  According to the report, the industry has shifted its attention towards engineering effectiveness. Instead of measuring productivity, the focus should be on measuring the factors that contribute to or hinder the workflow. Rather than assessing an individual’s activities, the emphasis should be on identifying the sources of waste in the system, and the conditions that have a measurable impact on a developer’s perception of productivity.
  • AI-assisted development: As expected, AI-assisted development was a top theme from the most recent Radar. The report names the tools GitHub Copilot, Tabnine, and Codeium.

    They add: “We see great promise in the explosion of tools and capabilities for assistance beyond coding, such as user story writeup assistance, user research, elevator pitches, and other language-based chores.”
  • Platforms as a product. Organizations often face problems with internal platforms because they fail to treat them as products. The TechRadar team suggests that many platforms designed for developers lack user research and contextual analysis, which is essential for other product types. To ensure that a platform meets the needs of developers, platform owners must validate their assumptions about developers’ needs and respond to actual usage patterns. Platforms require ongoing support, just like any other good product. The “platform as a product” metaphor only works when it is fully embraced as a practice, not just a trendy phrase.

Overall, we’re super excited to have been included in the “Trial” category on the ThoughtWorks Technology Radar, another important industry validation on our journey to help our customers better understand and improve developer productivity. 

October 2, 2023

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