At a recent Software Engineer position I worked on developing and improving internal tools. Internal tools are software systems that are developed and used within an organization to improve efficiency, productivity, and communication.
These tools are often not marketed to or made available to external customers, clients, or end users and are instead designed for internal usage by workers. Systems for project management, communication, time tracking, human resource management, business intelligence tools, IT management, and document management are a few examples.
As a programmer working on internal tools, there are a few vital things you can do to make the most impact:
- Recognize your users’ needs before beginning any tool development: It’s critical to recognize your users’ demands before beginning any tool development. This entails conversing with them, looking over their processes, and getting their comments. The key to success here is scheduling interviews with the people who will be using your work.
- Prioritize based on impact: As soon as you are aware of your users’ needs, focus on adding features and making enhancements that will have the biggest positive effects on their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Keep it (super) simple: Make an effort to keep the user interface straightforward and basic so that internal tools are simple to use and comprehend. Keep any extra features or complexity to a minimum.
- Continuously improve: Continue to gather user feedback and make ongoing adjustments to your tools. This will make it more likely that they will continue to be useful and satisfy the needs of their users.
- Make sure it’s maintainable: Internal tools’ long-term success depends on the creation of maintainable code. Ensure that your code is well-structured, commented, and adheres to standard practices.