5 Tips For Building Better Software From The Ground Up
- By Maham
You may have heard of the phrase, "Bugs come from the bottom up," used to describe software defects. In other words, bugs arise from an incomplete understanding of requirements. But it's not just a lack of requirements that can lead to buggy code.
It's hard to build good software, and we often underestimate the time and energy we'll need to invest in a feature or product. We tend to overestimate our ability to finish on schedule or meet all of our goals upfront.
So if you're starting a new project, these are the 5 Tips for Building Better Software from the Ground Up:
Understand Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The idea of an MVP is that it helps us get to market faster with a minimal feature set that will help us understand the customer's needs.
Developers need time, and they'll put more effort into a project that offers the chance of a bigger reward—where there's a greater likelihood of success.
If you're unsure whether your product will be successful, it may make sense to start small and iterate. This gives you the chance to get honest feedback from customers which you can use to refine your MVP, helping you learn more about how people use your software and its demand.
Be Prepared for Launch Day Delays
In the weeks leading up to launch, time pressures can be intense, and it may seem like everyone's in a panic. This pressure can make you think that there's no time to write tests for your code or review how it works in conjunction with other parts of the system.
You may think you can work out all of these details in training or through documentation, but the fact is that the people who build and support software are often called upon in emergencies. And when they're in a rush, they may not have the time to look up documentation or try to understand your code. They need things to work, or they can't help you.
Pick Your Technical Battles Wisely
Unfortunately, working on issues can be a significant drain on resources and time, and you should carefully consider whether it's worth investing effort in them. Will the benefits outweigh the costs? This is especially true if you're not sure your product will be successful.
However, if you decide to invest effort in these issues, then delegate the work to two or more passionate developers about that area of technology. Having multiple people working on it will have leverage if any one person struggles with implementation details.
Don't Rush Towards Launch Day
While you're working towards launch day, don't rush to meet your deadline. It's tempting to think that all of that hard work is almost done but don’t hasten the end product.
It's important to recognize whether any of the following are true:
You have a new developer or junior developer who's working on this project.
Your business is in the midst of significant changes, like a new VP or an impending merger.
You're fighting with your team to ship your app before launch day.
In these situations, you should ask yourself whether it makes sense for you to push forward.
Outsource Code Reviews
We all tend to think that our code is better because we put so much time into it. When you're pushing towards a deadline, there's a good chance you'll miss mistakes in your code. You might not even notice that it's dependent on a framework or library that you haven't used before, and the only way to find out is if something breaks after launch day.
Outsourcing code reviews can help you spot these problems earlier so you can fix them before launch day.
The five tips mentioned above should help you avoid common mistakes people make while building software from the ground up. But if there's one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s that you shouldn’t get too attached to your code until you've thoroughly tested and proven it through usage.