Using Amazon Q Developer to help you work with stakeholders

Using Amazon Q Developer to help you work with stakeholders

How using Amazon Q Developer can help you know the right questions to ask, so you can make the right decisions quicker

Ricardo Sueiras
Amazon Employee
Published Apr 30, 2024
This is the first in a series of posts where I share how Amazon Q Developer is helping be across all the activities that I do as a developer, from design, to development, deployment and beyond
Analysis and Design steps of the Software Development Life Cycle
Have you ever found yourself in a meeting with the business, and they are asking you questions you wish you had better knowledge about? I know this used to happen to me, a lot. As a developer, you will spend a fair chunk of your time having to talk to your stakeholders about the projects that you work on.
During the very early stages of projects, it is not unusual to have to work with these stakeholder to better understand what they are trying to do, and then working with them to come to an agreement on what needs to be done.
Whilst it varies from business to business, what I have found is that you are typically put into the spotlight to help guide them through the early stages of what needs to be designed and built. Often however, you might not have enough time to prepare all the information you need to get the best outcome. What I would love is for the next generation of developer tooling to help me make the right decisions, faster.
I have been experimenting with Amazon Q Developer, and believe that perhaps now, I have the perfect companion to help me prepare for those discussions. In this post, I want to illustrate this with a simple example, but would encourage you all to try this on projects that you are working on and see how you get on (and please, do get in contact, or provided feedback in the comments).
Asking the right questions
Developers can use generative AI tools like Amazon Q Developer, to help them prepare for the analysis phase of development projects. We can use them to help us ask better questions when we engage with our stakeholders. What do I mean by this?
How many times have you gone into a meeting with your stakeholders and need information on how to frame functional and non functional requirements on a given topic? How many times have you had to respond, "it depends" ? The answer is likely often, and so we can start to think of these next generation developer tools like Amazon Q Developer, and providing us with accelerated information that will help us ask our stakeholders better questions. With better questions, we will have more accurate answers that will help us build the right thing for the business.
As a quick example, imagine that the business have asked me to build an application that integrates with a well known system. It would be great if I could ask Amazon Q Developer things like "What are the most important things to think about when integrating with that system", or perhaps "I am not familiar with system X, what do I need to know about it when writing applications that integrate with it?", or maybe the classic, "What are the most important function and non functional requirements I need to think about?" - you can add your own questions, but hopefully you get the drift. The output you will get from tools like Amazon Q Developer will help you formulate the right questions for your particular scenario.
Being better prepared for these kinds of meetings, and having the information to hand that will ask you the right questions will help you earn trust with your stakeholders by ensuring you are all on the same page. With that information, we can now use that to help us narrow down our design choices.
Reducing your design choices
Our design choices are rooted in what we have learned from the previous analysis phase, and using Amazon Q Developer to help us determine the right functional and non functional requirements, can help steer us in the right direction.
During the design phase, you need to start thinking more concretely about what you are going to the architecture and how the solution is going to look. You are looking to narrow down your choices based on the inputs you already have (functional and non functional requirements), and begin to find out the options you have, the trade-offs you need to think about, to help you make your design decisions.
You begin to define your architecture, select the frameworks you want to use, and start to think about your compute architecture and use this information to better right size your infrastructure and ask for sizing suggestions.
You need to find accurate, up-to-date information and guidance to help you understand potential solutions. For example which AWS services I could use, and how I could use them. You could spend hours reading through AWS documentation, reading through blog posts, and searching the internet. Amazon Q Developer can really help you reduce the effort required to get this information, and it is interesting to see how my own use of internet searches has significantly dropped as I am not getting the information I need in a curated bundle, that is context specific - that context is what I have defined within both my prompts, but also the previous discussions that I have had. This really helps provide much more specific guidance that helps memake the right design choice.
An example
In this video, you will see an example of how I use Amazon Q Developer to ask questions about a hypothetical new application that I have been asked to build. This application needs to integrate with a system, which I am not familiar with. So I use Amazon Q Developer to help guide me through, first getting all the information I need from an analysis perspective, and then second, using that information to narrow down what I am going to build.
Try Amazon Q Developer and see how it can help you make better decisions, faster
In this short post and video, I wanted to share some of the ways I am using Amazon Q to help me reduce the time it takes me to get the information I need to better answer my stakeholders. Having an AWS assistant that understands the broad depth of AWS Services, as well as having a much broader corpus of knowledge, is helping me to reduce the time it takes me to find the answers to the questions I have as a developer, and get me coding sooner. Stay tuned for more adventures in Amazon Q Developer, and as always, I would love to hear your stories and what you are doing with Amazon Q Developer.
Find more ways that Amazon Q Developer can help you by checking out the Developer Centre resources.

Any opinions in this post are those of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of AWS.