As digital transformation continues to mature, it’s becoming increasingly clear which businesses are taking the right steps to adapt and change. And it’s not just your customers whose expectations are changing, but developers too. If your architecture can’t deliver the agility and flexibility developers expect, they’ll know about it from your branding and technical output.

It’s time to acknowledge the importance of perception, and make a confident leap towards a more innovative workforce built by the best cloud development talent around.

Burying the past

Consider your existing development team: what challenges are stopping you from rolling out a successful cloud-native strategy? In Cloud Native Comes of Age, 70% of executive respondents named “skills,” or a lack of them, their biggest cloud-native challenge.

To see the full survey results, download the full research report here.

Today’s developers understand the importance of continuous delivery in a microservices architecture—and this is a great thing; they want to see their work make a difference. And like the tired perception finance and insurance companies once faced, there’s no reason why other industries can’t follow suit and shed the monolithic, process-driven perception of old.

What developers want

Abby Kearns, executive director at Cloud Foundry Foundation, believes organizations doing exciting things with technology are a big draw for today’s developers, especially those willing to enable continuous deployment:

“At the end of the day, developers want to be able to develop code and get it out the door and see it. If you’re working on one app a year, and that’s what you spend your entire year on, then you don’t often get to see the outcomes of your work. So, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” At Royal Mail, the IT team brought in external partners to retrain existing developers and reshape its development culture through what IT portfolio director Alex Lorke calls a “voyage of discovery,” helping developers to “solve problems on their own.”

Developers are increasingly collaborative and invested in the outcome of their work; they want to see first-hand the impact of their coding through iterative, continuous deployment.

How to reshape perception

If you’re looking to move away from outdated perceptions that deter developers from working for your organization, there are three tactical steps you can take:

  1. Get the message out

Too few enterprises emphasize the importance of what they do. Just like anybody, developers want to know that the exertion they put in has a real, tangible impact on the real world. Whether that’s delivering great customer experiences or helping others deploy amazing technology, it’s important to highlight what developers can expect to achieve when they work for you.

  1. Enable peer collaboration

As we discussed in our blog about DevOps methodology, collaboration within and between teams is vital to continual delivery of high-quality products. But there’s something else you should consider too, and that’s open source.

Today, open source enables some of the most innovative things happening in tech, including cloud-native app development. Deny your developers the opportunity to use open-source software in their apps, and you’re not only stifling innovation, but also putting your entire business at a severe competitive disadvantage.

  1. Shout about what you do

If you’re working culture and technical output is really as great as you think it is, let your people shout about it, and encourage other talented developers to join the team.

At the most basic level, you can promote and tease exciting projects both online and at industry events; it’s time to give your developers the freedom to shout loud and proud about what they do. By sharing your innovative plans and past successes you may attract the talent you’ve long been looking for.