Efficient Software Development – Story of Software S03E16

Ivar Conradi Østhus, Chief Technology and Product Officer at Unleash, joins us to talk about his experiences when creating Unleash, and lessons learned on the route to efficient software development.


The Guest – Ivar Conradi Østhus, CTO and CPO at Unleash

Ivar Conradi Østhus, is the Chief Technology and Product Officer at Unleash, an open-source feature management software, built with large enterprises in mind. Ivar has 15 years of experience in the software world and has worked in many leading technical roles before creating Unleash.


How to Achieve Efficiency in Software Development

Efficient software development is a journey still in progress for many organisations. While the transition to DevOps and automation is well underway at a larger market level, many challenges remain, particularly across larger enterprises. A transformation in mindset and processes is essential to achieving efficiency in software development in terms of adopting agile processes. Efficiency in software development revolves around the ability to change and improve software quickly


What does it really mean to improve software quickly

There are a few factors to consider: deployment frequency, lead time for changes, and time to roll back mistakes. It’s about deploying frequently, reducing lead time, and keeping failure rates in check. This philosophy of “ship early, ship often” is about breaking down development into smaller pieces and releasing them swiftly to receive feedback, mitigate risks, and reduce cognitive overhead. It’s not just about speed, but about accelerating the feedback loop.

Some of the other topics covered in this episode include:

  • How to simplify the SDLC process
  • How to accelerate feedback loops and agile cycles
  • How to use AI for efficient software development



Q: Do you come across lots of businesses that are still deploying software the old way, how are you actually seeing the market now?

I see that the market is evolving and a lot of companies have understood the value of DevOps and are looking into how they can automate more processes. But we are still not there yet, there’s still a lot of manual work that should be automated… and we see that the willingness is not there in a lot of organisations. When you have 5000 engineers, and you want to transition from a few releases a month to weekly or daily releases, of course, it’s hard on the organisation to get to that mindset… You need to rethink and reorganise the internal processes around this. Changing mindsets is always the most difficult thing, isn’t it?


Resources on Efficient Software Development

Recommendations by Ivar on valuable resources for those aspiring to enhance their software development knowledge:

  • The Phoenix Project: A captivating introduction to DevOps, shedding light on its importance in business success.
  • Accelerate: A book that summarises years of DevOps reports, providing insights into metrics and practices for efficient software development.
  • Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb: Emphasising the significance of aligning incentives with outcomes in the software development world.


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