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How to tell if your development team is working

This is a great question that so many entrepreneurs don’t know how to answer. With designers, you should be able to see the designs they are working on and see the changes they’ve made. But with developers, how do you know what’s going on?

Here is the secret.

Watch their commits in their code repository. Better yet, integrate them into your communications system, such as Slack. This way, you can see every time someone adds something to the code base.
A commit is an addition of code to the system. It doesn’t get integrated into the testing or live server, just into the code repo. Bear in mind that the number of commits aren’t necessarily representative of the actual amount of work being done. But if you have good Code Repo Branch Management, your developers should be committing for every different ticket they are working on and you should be able to see the code commits flashing across your desktop. You don’t have to know how to code to take a look and see if commits are being made.

What this looks like in the code repository:

This is what I see on Slack when things are being worked on:

If I know who is supposed to be working, when their deadlines are, and that they are doing development, I know that I should be seeing this kind of thing coming across my desk all the time. If I don’t see commits being made some particular day, I know that person is either not working or working on something really complicated where they are not making commits or taking a long time to make commits.