Why Scorecards are critical to your developer portal

Resource Scorecards help to drive the adoption of the best coding standards, improve code quality, and foster innovation. You can enhance visibility, compliance, and decision-making across your company by using Cortex’s Scorecards.

April 27, 2023

Modern software development is a fast-paced and dynamic discipline with rapidly evolving boundaries. New development and testing processes are constantly emerging to make coding quicker, more efficient, and more utility-centric. Likewise, client demands and expectations from a software development business are constantly changing in tune with industry trends. This puts the onus on development teams to adopt flexible workflows that can be altered to meet specific development goals. That can be challenging! 

A crucial mistake many development managers commit in this connection is not adapting their developer measurement and monitoring processes according to changing development goals. Relying on somewhat outdated short-term developer productivity parameters like time-to-code and hours worked might not always produce the expected results. Changing development goals require a better, more dynamic monitoring solution that can help SRE teams focus on those areas within a project that the stakeholders deem particularly important. 

That is where resource Scorecards can make a lot of difference. 

What are Scorecards?

Developer portals are vast information repositories that allow engineers to track all of their infrastructure components — from databases to Kafka topics — in a single place. They demystify infrastructure, giving developers clear insights into their service architecture. Developer portals make it easy to find information about which infrastructure assets are running and how all the distinct components connect. But what about the adoption of the best standards and compliance? 

While developer portals can prescribe the best standards and tools for every stage of the development process, it is up to the developers to abide by these standards. Ineffective enforcement of prescribed coding standards can cause development teams to become inefficient. Resource Scorecards are an effective solution to solve this problem. 

Scorecards for Resources are tools that can be used to track the adoption of best standards and compliance in a developer portal. They provide developers with clear feedback on how well they adhere to prescribed coding standards and can help them identify areas of improvement. Let’s say, for instance, you want to use encryption or versioning for all buckets utilized by a tier-1 service. Or you want to ensure all your databases have multiple availability zones. To drive compliance with either of these initiatives, you need clear ownership and a way to enforce prescribed standards. Scorecards can be the perfect tool in both cases. 

Scorecards treat your infrastructure components as production-grade assets whose utilization can be easily monitored by development (including development managers) and SRE teams. They can measure a wide range of metrics related to development, such as code quality, security compliance, and application performance. By tracking these metrics and providing feedback to developers, resource Scorecards help organizations ensure that their developers build high-quality applications that meet business requirements and adhere to industry best practices. Resource Scorecards can also help development teams identify areas of improvement such as coding practices or code security measures.

What are the benefits of adding Scorecards to developer portals?

Adding Scorecards to developer portals is a great way to push and monitor the adoption of the best coding standards across development teams. They prompt new developers to use the development infrastructure within an organization in the most efficient way possible. Similarly, SRE teams can track and push the adoption of newly introduced coding infrastructure to achieve better coding workflows. 

Here are some other benefits of adding Scorecards to your developer portal. 

Improved code quality 

Resource Scorecards can improve code/service quality by providing a set of best coding practices and clear feedback on code quality, syntax, and documentation. They ensure the consistency and lucidity of the code and its adherence to security standards. For instance, a resource scorecard can enforce the use of design patterns, code architecture principles, and the presence of unit tests and code coverage. This can help reduce development time and improve the codebase's maintainability, testability, and reusability. Furthermore, Resource Scorecards can help to mitigate the risk of security vulnerabilities and data breaches by providing guidelines for input validation, error handling, and data protection. 

Improved compliance

Compliance with relevant data privacy and security regulations is crucial for any software service. Scorecards can help organizations ensure compliance with various standards and regulations such as HIPAA, SOC2, or GDPR. They do that by monitoring key compliance metrics such as data encryption, access control, and vulnerability scanning. Monitoring these metrics can help organizations identify gaps in their compliance measures and take corrective action to mitigate potential risks before they become significant problems. This helps them maintain their market reputation and customer trust, avoid costly penalties, and reduce the risk of data breaches or cyber-attacks. 

Increased visibility 

Organizations can gain increased visibility into their infrastructure, services, and applications by adding Scorecards to developer portals. These Scorecards provide SRE teams and other stakeholders with a quick and easy way to monitor the status of all infrastructure components, including databases, queues, and caches. They can also offer metrics on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as application response time, availability, and error rate. This real-time visibility helps developers and management identify potential issues quickly and make informed decisions about resource allocation, capacity planning, and service optimization.

Organizations can take proactive steps to optimize their services and avoid potential downtime or service disruptions by having a clear overview of the infrastructure's performance. This saves time and resources and helps organizations meet their service level agreements (SLAs) more efficiently. The increased visibility can also help teams identify areas to improve their infrastructure and optimize their services. Continuous monitoring of KPIs and infrastructure components enables teams to make data-driven decisions that improve their services and customer satisfaction and business outcomes. 

Improved collaboration

The enhanced visibility offered by Scorecards can help improve collaboration within development teams. Higher visibility enables developers to work together more effectively and adhere to prescribed guidelines about business requirements and industry best practices. Further, Resource Scorecards help identify areas where collaboration is required and ensure that all parties involved have the necessary information they need to work together. 

For instance, Scorecards can provide insights into the status of infrastructure components and KPIs. This information can be used by development teams and stakeholders to collaborate on service optimization, capacity planning, and resource allocation. Improved collaboration through Scorecards can help ensure that all stakeholders are working together towards a common goal of delivering high-quality services that meet business requirements.

Continuous improvement 

Scorecards can also fuel innovation and continuous improvement in software development by promoting a culture of data-driven decision-making. They provide developers with clear feedback on the quality of their code and the performance of their services, helping identify areas for improvement and encouraging experimentation with new tools and technologies.

For example, if a Scorecard shows that a particular service is experiencing high error rates, developers may investigate new tools or technologies to improve its performance. Similarly, if a Scorecard shows that code quality is consistently low, developers may experiment with new coding techniques or tools to improve the quality of their code.

By fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, Scorecards can help organizations stay competitive in a rapidly evolving software development landscape. They can encourage developers to push the boundaries of what is possible and to constantly strive for better, more efficient solutions to business challenges.

Efficient resource allocation 

Resource Scorecards can provide crucial information about the performance of various infrastructure components and services, allowing developers and management to allocate resources more efficiently. 

With access to real-time metrics on application performance, resource utilization, and errors, teams can identify where to focus their efforts to optimize resource allocation and reduce waste. For example, if a service is consistently performing poorly, developers can investigate and make necessary improvements or allocate more resources to improve its performance.

In addition, Scorecards provide insights into usage patterns of infrastructure components such as databases or queues, allowing teams to optimize their allocation. For instance, if a particular database is rarely used, resources can be reallocated to other components that require more attention. By optimizing resource allocation, organizations can reduce infrastructure costs, improve application performance, and enable their teams to focus on higher-value tasks.

Better decision-making 

Scorecards for Resources provide organizations with valuable insights and metrics that can lead to better decision-making across verticals. By tracking and analyzing data on infrastructure components, service architecture, compliance, and code quality, Scorecards enable organizations to make informed decisions about resource allocation, capacity planning, service optimization, and other critical areas.

For instance, Scorecards can provide metrics on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as application response time, availability, and error rate. Analyzing these metrics allows organizations to identify areas where they need to make improvements and prioritize resources accordingly. This can help an organization ensure that it is investing its resources in the most critical areas, improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the development process.

Additionally, Scorecards can help organizations identify areas where compliance and coding standards are not being met, allowing them to take corrective action and mitigate risks. This can help ensure that the organization is making decisions based on accurate and reliable data, leading to better outcomes and improved overall performance.

What should your Scorecards look like?

What elements a Scorecard has depends on the immediate development goals and standards of the organization. Some projects might require development teams to lay extra emphasis on security and compliance. In such cases, service and Scorecards can include finer security and compliance parameters like HIPAA compliance or GDPR compliance, among others. Similarly, other projects might prioritize system performance, in which case your Scorecards must include all relevant KPIs. Here are some of the elements and parameters you should consider including in your Scorecards: 

  • KPIs and metrics: Your Scorecard should provide visibility into the most critical KPIs and metrics for an organization's infrastructure and services. These metrics should be aligned with business goals and objectives and should be tracked over time to measure progress and identify trends.
  • Status and health indicators: The Resource Scorecard should display the status and health of each infrastructure component, application, and service, including any issues or alerts. This information should be updated in real-time to ensure that developers and operations teams can quickly identify and resolve any issues.
  • Compliance and security: The Scorecard should include compliance and security metrics, such as data encryption, access control, and vulnerability scanning. This information should be aligned with industry standards and regulations and should be regularly audited to ensure that the organization is compliant.
  • Code quality: The Scorecard should provide feedback on code quality, syntax, and documentation, ensuring that all code meets the organization's coding standards. This will help ensure that the code is maintainable, testable, and reusable, reducing development time and improving the overall quality of the service.
  • Capacity and resource utilization: The Scorecard should also include metrics on resource utilization, such as CPU and memory usage, to help organizations optimize their resource allocation and capacity planning.
  • Response time and availability: The Scorecard for Resources should include metrics on application response time and availability, helping organizations identify bottlenecks and improve service levels.
  • Integration with Other Tools: Your Scorecard should be integrated with other tools such as DevOps and APM solutions to provide a comprehensive view of the organization's infrastructure and services.
Elements of a Resource Scorecard
  • KPIs and Metrics: Display the most critical KPIs and metrics aligned with business goals and tracked over time.
  • Status and Health Indicators: Display the status and health of each infrastructure component, application, and service.
  • Compliance and Security: Display compliance and security metrics aligned with industry standards and regulations.
  • Code Quality: Provide feedback on code quality, syntax, and documentation to ensure adherence to coding standards.
  • Capacity and Resource Utilization: Include metrics on resource utilization, such as CPU and memory usage, to optimize resource allocation.
  • Response Time and Availability: Include metrics on application response time and availability to identify and improve service levels.
  • Integration with Other Tools: Integration with other tools, such as DevOps and APM solutions, to provide a comprehensive view of the organization's infrastructure and services.

Build better Scorecards with Cortex

At Cortex, we provide highly-intelligent visibility solutions that help development teams work with unparalleled transparency and efficiency. Our custom Scorecards can help everyone from SRE teams to development managers prioritize adherence to the best coding security standards. Cortex Scorecards allow your team to define standards like production readiness and development quality, and enforce them without building scripts and maintaining spreadsheets. 

Our curated Scorecard templates include Operational Maturity, Operational Readiness, Development Maturity, DORA Metrics, and Migration options. 

Book a demo today to learn more about how Cortex’s Scorecards can make your developer portals truly effective

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