The Secret Focus of Successful Software
With all the talk over various Agile processes, the true focus of software, providing quality code to people, can get pushed aside.
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Quality software is hard work, but the results will be worth it, for you, your company, and your customer.
There is a constant influx of hype these days around X-first and X-driven software. Some examples:
What each of these approaches has in common is that they elevate one specific factor of software design and development as more significant (either good or bad) than the others.
Modern software should not be built this way. There are exactly three factors that all modern software should consider as equally important, and are the only design criteria you will ever need:
Mission + Audience + Integrity
This is the purpose for your software. The objective or goal. Its very reason for existence. It is hard to sell software that doesn't have a clear purpose because it is hard for people to visualize the problem it solves.
It is easy to get distracted by new technology and industry trends. However focusing too much on the technology means losing focus on the real value your software should provide.
Your audience is those people that will use your software. This embodies their needs and desires along with their experience using your software. Nobody will use software that is difficult to use or fails to address a problem.
Carefully looking at your audience will help you make the right design decisions. You might discover you only need a mobile app, don't need one at all, or even that your software should simply be a plugin to an existing product.
The overall integrity of the system includes such fundamental concerns as availability, reliability, security, and performance. This includes protections for information held by the system. People will not trust software of low integrity and will not use it.
Nearly every week there are examples of private data being leaked and consumers losing confidence in companies and products.
Getting It Right
It is critical that we stop assembling teams of only programmers and start assembling diverse teams across disciplines such as user experience, design, security, quality assurance, and infrastructure.
Collaborating across diverse teams is a lot harder than just a development team slinging code. It will require everyone on the team to set aside their ego and accept input and critique from others.
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Dowden, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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