Software developers have more opportunities than ever in 2022, but there are more software developers than ever now. People and organizations are more sophisticated when it comes to their software needs these days so both the development process and the end products need to be buttoned up.
With software development such a hot topic these days, every developer needs to think about what they can do to separate themselves from the pack. Here are a few software development tips that work in 2022.
It starts with project management
The most successful software developers can see the forest for the trees. Software development isn’t only about the functionality or the coding or the testing. A software development project is just that, a project.
One of the biggest contributors to software development success is good project management. As this Digital Authority Partners article notes, there is a lot that goes into project management. To create a successful software product, a good project manager will combine functionality, design, monetization, and content.
When all these elements are planned in advance and thought about throughout the process, it gives software developers the best chance to not just come up with a good project, but a successful one that provides just what users and owners need.
Focus on the user experience
Since there is so much more software these days and so many more software designers, just getting the job done isn’t enough anymore. Great software needs to have a tangible effect on the lives of the end-user. This means it makes their life simpler, easier, more convenient, or more efficient.
To accomplish this, every decision should take into account the effect on the end-user. Is the software engaging? Is it compelling? Is it intuitive? These are just a few questions software developers need to ask along the way to create the best user experience possible.
Prioritize quality over quantity
Everyone wants things done as fast as possible these days. This is a relatively general observation that applies to almost every aspect of life but it is especially relatable in the software development space.
Speed and quantity are important for developers but focusing on quality first will go a long way to developing better products and satisfying the customer. And, if you have a very specific focus on quality, you’ll develop the skills needed to develop quality software fast which is the best combination possible.
Also, while cutting corners may seem like a way to hit increasingly tight deadlines, it is almost never the answer. Creating quality code the first time will actually make the overall project go quicker as you won’t have to go back and fix mistakes that pop up down the line due to slapdash coding.
Use the data that’s available
Is your development process working well? How about your software products? How do you know?
While those first two questions are the ones most software developers ask, the last one is actually the most important. In 2021, data is the name of the game. There is more data available than ever before. Developers who use this data are able to make better, data-driven decisions that help create the best product in the best possible way.
There are several different areas where developers can use data to make better decisions. They can use metrics around developer productivity, software performance, defects and security, user experience, and more to make substantive changes that will make them better developers.
Agile development is a great methodology to use in 2021 but, even if you are trained in or need to use something else, the agile concepts that Agile development adheres to are good to keep in mind during the development process.
Agile development prioritizes multiple check-ins and flexibility to shift the path as the project goes on. These concepts are what result in great software. Most clients, even if they have a crystal-clear vision of what they want at the outset of a project, don’t know exactly what they need. The more input they have and the more willing both sides are to flex and compromise for the good of the end-user, the better the project will turn out.
Downsize your work in progress
Software development is ultimately a series of tasks and small projects that, when combined create the final product. The more separate aspects of a project that are being developed at any one time, the more chance there is that these sections won’t work together perfectly in the end.
This isn’t to say that a methodology like Waterfall, where one step follows the other, is preferred. It just is a reminder to limit the WIP on a project when possible. Doing so will help product quality and the quality of work from the development team as it will be less likely they become overwhelmed with all the multitasking.
Test, test, test
This last tip works as well in 2021 as it did a decade or more ago. Test everything. Test everything as much as possible. And test things using the most up-to-date testing best practices. Testing as much and as well as possible can be the difference between a good product and a bad one and a project that ends on time and on budget and one that doesn’t.
Security testing is especially important in 2021. The massive amount of corporate and personal business forced online during the pandemic has spiked cyberattacks to an unprecedented level. Many of these attacks are a direct result of hackers exploiting bad code in software. The more you can test for security flaws, the more secure your software will be which, in this day and age, will satisfy a client more than almost anything else.
Software development in 2021 can be difficult but, with these few tips, it can become a lot easier. Clients know what they want and how they want it these days and implementing these tips will help deliver on that vision or help them craft an even better vision throughout the process.