Article

A better way to get unstuck: How our Q&A tool changes the game for devs

May 14, 2019
Learn something new. Take control of your career.

That developers will encounter roadblocks is as inevitable as five people in your office sporting the same Allbirds on a given day. But how devs respond to those roadblocks isn’t so cut and dry. Options are varied, and how developers choose to search for solutions has a big impact on how quickly they can get back to shipping solid code.

Often, developers seek answers to the questions that hold them back via some combination of email, intra-company messaging platforms and external forums. However tried-and-true, each of these approaches has a downside that may include loss of time, or worse, security.

We created Pluralsight Q&A to maximize efficiency and minimize risk when the inevitable roadblocks arise. Simply put, we devised a better way to get unstuck.

Here are five problems with the old way of doing things, and how Q&A solves them.

 

1. Many answer-seeking mechanisms are slow; the right people aren’t always available to provide guidance.

With Q&A, developers have access to a searchable database of questions that have already been answered by people within their organization, making it likely that the solution to their roadblock is available in the exact moment of need. And new questions are instantly directed to the people within the company with the expertise necessary to provide helpful answers. But more on that next.

2. It’s not always clear who questions should be directed toward; devs spend a lot of time trying to find out who can help them.

When you ask a question through Q&A, it’s instantly sent to the people in your company with the know-how to answer it, eliminating the whole “Who’s the best person to ask about this?” goose chase. We’ve all been there, but with Q&A we don’t have to run in circles any longer.

3. Experts within organizations end up answering the same questions over and over again.

Thanks to Q&A’s searchable database, each question only needs to be asked and answered once within a company—meaning people in-the-know don’t waste time repeating themselves. This makes onboarding faster and frees up time for everybody to focus on new problems to solve.

4. Many roadblocks require a thorough understanding of company’s systems and practices; seeking outside help may risk private information, or just take a little longer to explain/troubleshoot.

Q&A is a secure internal system. No information needs to be shared externally for devs to get answers. This makes explaining problems easier and faster, as questions are directed to people who already have a thorough understanding of systems and practices already in place.

5. Answering questions can be time-consuming and thankless; experts have their own work to focus on.

Part of being a good dev is helping to grow the next generation of innovators. Q&A makes it easy to coach others within your organization, nixing the hassle (and time-suck) of having to share the same bits of knowledge over and over. Answers are saved and available for future reference, so team members who work hard to help others can effectively demonstrate their contribution to leaders within their org.

TL;DR: Q&A is a game changer.

Here’s to more effective problem-solving, faster product shipments and increased success!

Want to dive deeper on Q&A? Get the full overview.

Learn something new. Take control of your career.