On iZotope’s Product Development

I’m a music buff. In fact, I’m a bit of an amateur producer, creating music “in the box” whenever I can.

In the box means I pretty much exclusively use my laptop or iMac as a recording studio. The audio production tools available to producers and musicians are stunning, and used by every top studio on the planet, pretty much. Exponential growth in computing power has allowed this.


But with all this power comes great responsibility. The users of such software care deeply about their music, and that’s what they want to focus on. But the world of audio engineering is highly technical and can take years to master. So how do software companies that create digital audio workstation (DAW) applications, and their associated plugins, marry this need to be creative with the deeply technical nature of production?

One such company is iZotope, based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. They’ve been developing DAW plugins (all DAWs have an architecture that allow them to be extended using plugins developed by 3rd party companies, like iZotope) for years. They’ve made headlines recently with the release of iZotope Neutron.

Take a look at this short video describing how they tackled writing such a complex piece of software. You don’t really need to understand what it does; instead notice how they talk about pair programming, TDD, and code reviews. You’ll probably spot developers demonstrating software to their peers, and I think you’ll catch glimpse of what looks like a User Story Map.


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