Apr. 21st, 2023
Iterate faster with a streamlined development workflow
Reach peak innovation through rapid iteration.
The way your team builds software matters
You hired your developers to build experiences that delight and convert customers. But there’s a lot that can stand in their way of shipping great software quickly—from manual processes and slow build times to drawn-out feedback cycles. Without a solid workflow, developers end up spending too much time on the wrong things like configuration tools and servers.
That’s where Vercel comes in. With personalized support and time-saving features like Previews, Vercel enables your team to:
- Retain knowledge
- Iterate quickly
- Get creative
- Work across teams
In short, we help your developers do what they love to do: innovate to deliver best-in-class user experiences.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the signs of a healthy development workflow and how Vercel can accelerate that journey at every stage—while making the developer experience genuinely great.
Why is the developer experience so important?
The developer experience at your organization directly impacts your bottom line. When the DevEx is lacking—whether from tedious configuration requirements or inefficient workflows—morale and iteration speed suffer.
A poor developer experience makes it hard to collaborate with other teams. This not only creates delays and frustration for your team, it leaves external stakeholders questioning timelines and efficiencies.
Often, tech debt accumulated over the years means that new tech can’t be implemented and adopted efficiently, blocking teams across your organization from moving quickly.
These bottlenecks keep developers from being able to iterate, experiment, and deploy instantly, meaning it’s even harder for your organization to adjust to market changes or hit revenue goals tied to site performance (like SEO and acquisition). What’s more: bottlenecks from tech debt make it harder to onboard and manage agencies, partners, and new team members.
What makes a good developer experience?
What's key to a good developer experience (DX)? Opting for tooling your developers already love, and prioritizing infrastructure that removes tech debt.
Opt for tooling your developers love
Open source tools with strong communities allow new employees to easily get up to speed—and you don’t need to worry about maintaining custom, in-house solutions when there’s turnover.
Teams grow and change. That’s a reality for any organization. But having employees come and go introduces challenges. To ensure there’s no time lost between transitions, make sure it’s easy to get new employees up to speed, and that knowledge doesn’t get lost when someone decides to move on.
Vercel supports over 35 frameworks including our own Next.js, so developers can keep using the tools they already know and love, minimizing setup and onboarding time. And, with tons of community contributions and support, it’s easy to find answers to any challenges that arise.
With a shared understanding across the organization and massive open source communities—around everything from Next.js and Svelte to Turborepo—teams across the business can move quickly.
Want a tip?
Prioritize infrastructure that removes tech debt
Let your team focus on application development, not infrastructure management. Too often, teams are blocked by slow builds, overly-customized tooling, or cumbersome staging pipelines. Developers are limited in how often they can ship, or what they’re able to focus on.
Vercel gives you zero-configuration staging environments with every new change. With an infrastructure that augments their workflow, a framework that encourages collaboration, and a dedicated support team, Vercel helps your team develop and ship efficiently no matter how it grows and changes.
When I first joined Loom, they were already using Next.js and Vercel. That appealed to me as a frontend engineer, because you always want to be using the best available tools. Loom choosing Next.js means that they prioritize performance and developer experience.
A better developer workflow for a better developer experience
When your team is able to focus on their projects, rather than fight with infrastructure, they can:
- Innovate faster
- Ensure consistent SLAs
- Iterate quicker due to shorter feedback loops
Let's discuss how your team can start doing all three with a better frontend workflow.
1. Get more time for innovation
Having a beautiful frontend is like having a beautiful virtual storefront. It’s your differentiator in a crowded market. You want to make sure you're investing in making it a delightful experience for your customers so they want to buy.
But when your developers are too busy configuring tools and waiting for builds, they can't do what you hired them to do: push the boundaries of digital experience. Vercel alleviates the bottlenecks blocking your team from shipping delightful experiences with four key things.
Fully managed infrastructure
Zero-configuration staging deployments
2. Ensure consistent SLAs
With all of these tools, you can expect your website to be fast and reliable by default—so your team can focus on their code.
To look at an example, let’s check out DatoCMS. DatoCMS provides over 25,000 businesses with a headless CMS built for the modern Web. They chose Next.js on Vercel because it provided the flexibility, speed, and simplicity they needed to cut build times from 10 to 4 minutes.
But it’s not just your devs who need consistent SLAs—customers also need to know when features are coming, and they rely on the availability and speed of sites. With Vercel and Next.js, DatoCMS was able to commit to instant delivery and update their customers every step of the way.
Being able to see updates in real time is one of the reasons why we recommend Next.js on Vercel to most of our customers. It’s our preferred choice.
3. Enable collaborative feedback
For too long, departments have been siloed, giving design feedback in one tool, copy in another, and code somewhere else. Vercel Preview Deployments enable collaborators to give feedback all in one place, leading to a more efficient workflow.
When collaboration is embedded into the workflow, it improves performance, helps with productivity, and makes your organization a better place to work. Sharable Preview Deployments ensure that different teams can discuss ideas, and in tandem with comments, your team can test, discuss, and iterate in real time—improving the quality of work as a whole.
With Vercel, we know what we’re pushing into production is close to perfect. That’s incredibly important because as an ecommerce platform, our website is everything.
Preview Deployments empower you and your team to preview changes to your app on production-grade infrastructure, so you don't have to worry about setting up a complex staging environment. Let’s explore some of the features:
- Commenting on Previews. Review seamlessly by commenting directly on components, layouts, and copy in real time—without creating tickets or leaving the browser. Commenting also includes Slack integration, the ability to screenshot, and the ability to see which browser the commenter is using—you can even use your company’s custom emojis in the comments.
- Password protection. Secure your projects with Password Protection. With this feature, you can ensure that visitors of your Preview Deployments must enter a password in order to gain access. This is especially useful for agencies sharing with clients, or businesses engaging with contractors.
- Git integrations. Vercel integrates with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket to enable CI/CD with zero configuration. Automatically generate live Preview URLs when creating a pull or merge request using Git.
- Testing. Perform tests of your choice every time a Preview Deployment is created with the Checkly integration. This step will prevent the change from being merged into production if the validation doesn't match your expectations.
- Preview URLs. Automatically generate a preview URL with each deployment. No need to build a custom or complex staging environment—Vercel handles it for you.
All of our results pages were developed and deployed on Vercel, and it was the smoothest election night anyone could remember.
Unlock a better workflow. Make the Web. Faster.
At Vercel, we believe that great software development is rooted in knowledge and expertise, the speed of iteration, unhindered creativity, and a culture of collaboration.
As you can see from the examples with Loom, DatoCMS, Desenio, and Dagster, Vercel takes away the bottlenecks and frustrations of frontend building and gives your teams the time to focus on the things that make you unique, the things that allow your team to have fun, and the things that make your business successful. We’ll take care of the rest.