Debunking the Five Most Popular Software Development Myths
An outline of five software development myths, and how to defy them.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Software development is not an exact science. There is no single way to build a successful product, just like there is no "right" approach to the process itself. Something that works for one team and one project won't necessarily work as well with another. Mostly due to the lack of understanding of the process itself or personal negative experience, software development has become surrounded by multiple stereotypes and myths.
That is why we have decided to demystify some of the most popular software development myths and help you slough off the related prejudices.
Here are our top 5 myths in software development:
Myth #1: Adding More People to a Development Team Will Certainly Speed up the Delivery
One of the most common mistakes product owners make when the software development project is delayed is blindly adding more people to the team hoping to speed up the process. The truth is, if your project is already late, adding more resources to it can slow it down even more.
Commonly known as Brooks's law, the principle reads "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." Described by Fred Brooks in his book "The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering", the law has met the test of the experiment many times.
Indeed, growing the team blindly can pose additional challenges in communication and cooperation. Moreover, every new team member needs time to onboard and become versed with the new project.
Reality: Adding more people to a development team won't necessarily speed up the delivery, rather it can slow it down even more. Be sure to consult with a team lead beforehand to make sure additional developers will benefit the project.
Myth #2: Using the Latest, Cutting-Edge Tools or Technology Guarantees Better Results
It is common for business owners to be carried away by the temptation to try out new, popular technology. Take, for example, Swift. Many businesses jumped right on the bandwagon and started re-writing their apps once the shining new language was released.
However, earlier versions of Swift had multiple issues and were lacking backward compatibility. So every time Apple released an update to its language, developers needed to rewrite their apps completely (or find workarounds to bridge the old code with the new one).
Everything is indeed possible with the right tools at hand. Yet, no technology is perfect. Every tool has its specific use cases: some are made for speed and performance, others can help you create a pixel-perfect UI or will work miracles with your data.
Only by taking into account the specifics of your product and its functional requirements, you will be able to choose the right tech stack. If you are not sure if the tool (API, framework, library, etc.) can do the job, you can test it out by creating a proof of concept.
Reality: There is no silver bullet technology that can solve all your problems. To choose the best tools, focus on your project specifics.
Myth #3: Software Can Be Completely Bug-Free
While quality assurance and testing is a vital part of every software development project, there is no way to make sure every single bug or issue will be fixed before the release. There are many situations when flaws in an app can appear in a certain situation or when using a specific device, OS version, etc.
This doesn't mean that QA is pointless. By conducting thorough testing, you will be able to find up to 99% of all bugs and affirm that the app works as expected on the majority of devices and operating systems.
Reality: Testing is an ongoing process and you should be prepared to address any issues that may arise after release.
Myth #4: When the Product Is Released, the Development Is Over
Development doesn't end as soon as you hit the "submit to app store" button. There are many things you will need to do afterward: gather and process user feedback, measure results, implement changes, fix any issues that may arise, provide regular updates for the app to stay relevant to the audience, add more features or integrations, etc.
Moreover, if you fail to update your app regularly, it might even end up being removed from the App Store as abandonware.
Reality: Software development of a live, active app can never be over: There's always something to fix, change, or improve.
Myth #5: You Can't Get Good Software Quality With Outsourced Software Development
Outsourcing is often frowned upon as a risky or even shameful undertaking. Indeed, many things can go wrong with an offshore development team. Yet, it all depends on the provider you choose to work with. If the team is very skilled and has vast experience in the field, the chances are, they will be able to do the job just as well as any local team would.
That is why the quality of your product will depend on the skills and professionalism of the team you hire, not its location or employment status.
Reality: If you choose a professional and experienced outsourcing provider, your product will be no worse than the one built by an in-house team. In some cases, it can be even better.
A Bonus, Myth #6: You Can Build a Perfect Product on the First Try
Striving for perfection is not a bad thing. Yet, with such a lengthy and complex task as software product development, this might not be the best approach. If you focus on building a complete application, just as you've imagined, all at once, you might end up having to throw away most of the job you've done.
In the case of software development, a far better option would be to follow an iterative approach and start small to test out your idea before you go all in. The minimum viable product (MVP), your first version of the app, doesn't have to be perfect or have many features to do its job.
Reality: Building a minimum viable product first to try out your concept and collect user feedback is a far better approach than trying to do it all at once.
These are only some of the most popular myths in software development. There many more misconceptions and false beliefs about this mysterious process. Some of them have long been demystified. Others are still believed to be true. The only way to prove them right or wrong is to learn firsthand. Until then, stay open-minded and don't be afraid to take risks.
Published at DZone with permission of Lisa Smith, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.