How to Give Constructive Feedback to Developers

  • Business Analysis

15 September 2022


We must train our thoughts to identify the best solutions to issues and solve them to produce excellent quality (in any area). The largest issues in the technology sector, nevertheless, eventually stem from communication issues. These issues can be identified and even fixed before they escalate into major issues. Although it seems simple, the majority of us are not accustomed to providing and accepting constructive feedback without becoming defensive.

Why Are Effective Communication Skills Crucial?

Working with a team and/or clients to create applications is particularly crucial in software development. Those are the ones we ought to care for well. And even if you might not be interested in spending much time interacting with your colleagues, it turns out that we must work together at least a few days a week. Therefore, it is always preferable to create a positive environment where your employees and clients feel at ease so that they can concentrate on their job rather than their issues.

Why is Providing Feedback Crucial?

Even without realizing it, communicating constantly offers feedback. Every function in the organization participates in code reviews, including developers, QA (Quality Assurance) personnel, BA (Business Analyst), PM (Project Manager), and QA personnel who remark on the information they discover. Additionally, comments are offered in each of these jobs as a kind of feedback.

What Exactly is Helpful Feedback?

Giving a team member feedback, whether it is official or informal, positive or negative, may help us understand where they are in terms of their performance. When a team member displays questionable actions or attitudes, these assessments are highly crucial because, with the correct feedback, they may drastically change.

Sadly, not every “constructive criticism or feedback” is helpful. The wrong kind of communication may make the other person feel as though they are being personally attacked, which only fuels defensiveness, wounded feelings, and eventually demotivation.

Considerations for Constructive Feedback

01 /
Consider Before Acting

Be sure to carefully observe the employee’s performance before offering feedback.

Because it’s wise to utilize 360-degree self-evaluations to acquire a full picture of someone’s performance before giving advice. to be aware of the difficulties you have been having as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each employee.

02 /
Balanced Criticism

Use the appropriate ratio of praise and criticism while providing feedback. State which is which, begin with one, and then conclude with the other. Giving both good and negative comments at work could confuse and irritate your coworkers. Employees should receive feedback to help them feel valued for the skills they contribute to the company as well as to receive clear instructions on how to strengthen their deficiencies.

03 /
Face-To-Face Criticism

Face-to-face communication is always the most effective technique to provide feedback. The dialogue could not flow organically when you communicate by text, and your colleagues might not get what you’re trying to say. Body language and tone will assist maintain the discussion vibrant and professional when feedback is provided in person.

04 /
A Direct and Pleasant Message

as in-person encounters are not always feasible. Even then, it’s important to pay close attention to your tone and body language. When communicating over the phone or by text, be careful to use language that will minimize miscommunication. Don’t humiliate or frighten your staff when giving them criticism. Being straightforward and forceful is excellent, but remember to put yourself in their position. Always try to be kind, and if you have a complaint, be sure to provide solid justification.

05 /
Listening Actively

Encourage staff members to express their opinions and address any problems they may have. There are occasions when you won’t know why a certain employee behaved in a certain way. It is preferable to let them speak and inquire. Their comments might tell you a lot about how well you are managing your team.

So How Can You Provide Developers With Constructive Criticism?

To relate to the facts and outcomes of the developer, you must first be on the same page. Next, you must acquire important details about the present situation to be able to provide aid, recommendations, and advice. Once you have the whole picture, you can provide better feedback.

Even if there can occasionally be divergent opinions, they should always be handled civilly to strengthen the application. This often implies that the QA and/or developer should discuss modifications with the BA, project managers, or even customers. Again, we need to provide them with useful criticism that includes concrete instances of their flaws and possible solutions.

Always keep to the facts when discussing how an application currently functions, why a certain solution is inadequate, and what can be done to increase functionality, support, or any other aspect you require. Effective feedback can help the developer, QA, BA, PM, or customer understand why a change is necessary and they will be appreciative of your perspective.

So, is Feedback Helpful?

Feedback is a tool to help us and others get better, which is what matters most. Constructive criticism will grow in strength and empowerment if you apply this philosophy and some common sense to your use of it.

Positive outcomes are absent from constructive criticism. You enter the negative comments category if all you say is that “the app doesn’t work” or “the new feature is ludicrous,” without offering any suggestions for a fix. At best, your viewpoint will simply be disregarded; at worst, your reputation within the team as a whole will suffer.

Everyone should work to improve their interpersonal abilities, notably the ability to provide feedback.

Even if we occasionally provide criticism that is too light, it is always better to go further into the discussion. For the benefit of the other person, their work, their confidence, and their professional growth as well as the intended goal of what you are doing.

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