In today’s digital world, with the fast-growing world of technological advancements and the growing number of devices integrated with our smartphones and tablets, all businesses become more and more dependent on technology. As a result, there is also a growing demand for software developers and engineers.
Software engineering is a complex and abstract activity. Whether you are a team leader, developer or project manager, you have definitely encountered at least one of the following challenges. Instead of concluding that your job is just way too difficult, better try to understand the causes and how to work around them to achieve the best results. Here are the most common pitfalls of software engineering and how to overcome or avoid them.
Make sure you understand your client
The biggest mistake you can do as a developer is to not understand your client’s expectations and requirements properly. When you are taking a new project, before you start even thinking about how to get it started, you need to make sure you know what is the final product that your client is expecting.
This pitfall can sometimes occur as a mistake from your client who lacks the necessary knowledge and skills to properly understand what software engineering involves. Clients often come with unrealistic expectations and requirements which can make the project fail right from the beginning. Secondly, developers can also affect the communication process by lacking good communication skills or hurrying into starting the project straight away.
Solution: First of all, if your client is asking you to reinvent the wheel to deliver an unrealistic project, you need to remember that you are the expert and you are responsible to help them understand the absurdity of their requirements. If you fail to tell your clients right from the beginning that their expectations cannot be achieved, you will most likely deal with an unhappy client at the end of the project. Secondly, before you start planning your work, make sure that you take your time to fully understand your clients’ needs and expectation.
Test your work
Not testing your work throughout the process and at the end of the project is certainly the biggest mistake in software engineering. Developers often consider that testing the code can be too time-consuming or they might be too confident in their skills to take into consideration the possibility of them making a mistake. However, everyone can make mistakes no matter how experienced and good they are at what they are doing. You need to be aware that even the smallest mistake in the code can ruin your whole work and starting everything all over again can be really frustrating.
Solution: The golden rule of software engineering is to never fail in testing the code when you write it. To avoid a lot of bug fixing, project delay, and dealing with unhappy clients, make sure to always test your work.
Gather a good team
Having multi-tasking skills sounds great when you have to complete a complex project. However, it has been proved that the more you ask people to fulfill various tasks simultaneously, the worse their work will turn out to be and the longer the project will take. Another pitfall of software engineering is not accepting that teamwork is always better.
A complex project involves many tasks to be fulfilled from code writing to testing. Thus, it is always wiser to have trustworthy comrades helping you to do the best work. Teamwork is the most efficient way to deliver great results because each of the team members can come up with great innovative ideas that you may have never thought about on your own.
Solution: Gathering a good team is the best way to ensure that you will have happy clients at the end of your projects. You need to find skilled developers who can bring real value to your team. Also, even more importantly, you should create a team with people that you can communicate well with and trust with the tasks they are responsible for.
Admit that you don’t know everything
If you want to provide your clients with the best possible results, arrogance should be left at the door. It may be difficult to admit that sometimes you may be wrong or don’t know everything. However, it is always wiser to improve your skills and knowledge for future projects instead of trying to hide your mistakes or lack of knowledge. Admit that there is always room to grow no matter what your job is. However, in software engineering, keeping up with the latest technological advancements is vital to perform at optimal levels.
Solution: Accept the fact that you don’t know everything and that it is alright to ask for help. Whether you continue learning and studying on your own or ask for help from more experienced developers, there is always something new to learn and improve your skills. For example, if you have doubts choosing between ios vs android development because you don’t understand all the pros or cons of each operating system, you can always ask a more experienced developer for their advice.
Don’t set unrealistic time expectations
All too often, another frequent pitfall of software engineering that occurs and is usually made by project managers or clients is to set unrealistic deadline expectations. Not breaking tasks down into small enough pieces, to be able to determine how much time each of the tasks will take, can make you estimate times too broadly.
Sometimes, businesses representatives tend to put too much pressure on the developers to deliver the project as quickly as possible. However, you should not accept a deadline unless you are 100% sure that you can respect it. Otherwise, there are two bad scenarios that you will have to face. Apart from risking to rush into completing your work which will lead to poor results, if you don’t deliver the project in time as you have promised, you will get a bad reputation which can affect your future project demands.
Solution: Before agreeing on delivering a project on a certain deadline, make sure that you take time to determine exactly how much time you need for completing each of the tasks.