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Does Transitioning Work?

Our experience certainly indicates that when you start out with a healthy organization and attempt to assimilate a new technology, transitioning developers works. In three sample mid-sized projects that we surveyed, more than 99% of developers successfully transitioned to their new roles. The remaining 10% were not necessarily bad developers; they just continued to be more comfortable and more productive working in their original environment. The survey results follow:

Project 1

  • Application domain: Signal processing
  • Project description: To implement a new set of signal-processing algorithms
  • Total developers: 12
  • Length of project: 11 months
  • Number of developers with at least average C skills at start of project: 5
  • After 2 months: 7
  • After 4 months: 10
  • After 11 months: 11

Project 2

  • Application domain: Custom text search and decision support
  • Project description: To re-architect a decision-support application from a client/server to a web-centric architecture while modifying/adding approximately 75% of the original functionality
  • Length of project: 9 months
  • Total developers: 20
  • Number of developers with web-centric experience at start of project: 0
  • Number of developers with at least average web-centric skills after 2 months: 5
  • After 4 months: 15
  • After 9 months: 18

Project 3

  • Application domain: Manufacturing
  • Project description: To re-architect an electronics manufacturer's mainframe scheduling and production planning application to a client/server architecture using a commercial ERP package, including new interfaces to other legacy systems
  • Length of project: 15 months
  • Total developers: 40
  • Number of developers with client/server experience at start of project: 7
  • Number of developers with at least average client/server skills after 2 months: 12
  • After 4 months: 32
  • After 9 months: 37
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