Software Development Challenges

software development challenges

Since computer programming was first invented, there have been many software development challenges and solutions. There are many instances of software development failure examples. These range from high-profile catastrophic failures in sectors such as banking and airport baggage handling to millions of lower scale software development failures that never made it to the news media.

The root cause of software development issues and challenges has remained fairly constant over more than 60 years of software development, despite changing technologies and practices. Despite the increasing use of artificial intelligence solutions, developing software is still an activity primarily carried out by human beings. It is both a science and an art form, requiring patience, attention to detail, creativity, and good communications.

Software development problems and challenges

Communication Problems in Software Development

The major cause of nearly all software development issues and challenges is communication or the lack of it. That includes communication between customers and software developers, between individual developers in the software development team, and between the different teams involved in the end-to-end lifecycle of developing the software. Communication problems in software development can be addressed by encouraging dialogue, teamwork, and transparency. This is also where agile development approaches can be extremely valuable. Agile development methodology can be applied to address many software development issues and challenges. Using Agile to deliver small increments of functionality more frequently can eliminate many historic software development challenges and solutions can be more readily found and implemented.

The Importance of Software Testing

Another primary cause of many software development issues is the fact that it is impossible to test every single part of any software solution. This has been proven by research conducted in the 1990s. Even with automated testing that attempts to remove human error from the application of tests, there is still a possibility of errors within the testing suite itself.  Another common issue with the testing of software is that the testing phase is often the one that gets squeezed when there are time pressures to deliver the software. Agile attempts to fix this by continual application of tests throughout the development process, but it can only achieve this if the testing actually happens. In many cases, it doesn’t, as software developers prefer developing functionality over developing test cases.

challenges and frustrations with software development

Use Cases are Vital to Software Developers

The most successful approach is to build in automated testing from the outset, supplemented by the automated capture of use case activity for the application. Scripts of what the users actually do can be created and automatically run against every new software delivery before it is deployed. New tests are then written for every cycle to test the newly delivered functionality. Using this approach isn’t foolproof, but it can significantly reduce the number of issues arising from each delivery, particularly when coupled with a code repository tool such as Git that will automatically reject any new code release that experiences errors from the automated testing of the software development.

Automated testing should also be supplemented by manual testing, both by users and the software developers themselves.  They should be allowed to try out the new software before it is released for general use, both trying out the new functionality but also the previous functionality. A good tester will deliberately try to break the software, for example, by entering a $ sign into a name field. Tests like this can often highlight software development failures examples that would otherwise go unnoticed.  

Summary:

Software Development Challenges

Since computer programming was first invented, there have been many software development challenges and solutions. There are many instances of software development failure examples. The root cause of software development issues and challenges has remained fairly constant over more than 60 years of software development, despite changing technologies and practices. Despite the increasing use of artificial intelligence solutions, developing software is still an activity primarily carried out by human beings. It is both a science and an art form, requiring patience, attention to detail, creativity, and good communications.

Share
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
William Goddard

William Goddard

William Goddard is the founder and Chief Motivator at IT Chronicles. His passion for anything remotely associated with IT and the value it delivers to the business through people and technology is almost like a sickness. He gets it! And wants the world to understand the value of being a technology focused business in a technological world.

Stay Up to Date

Join the 12,713 others that get technology news, reports, insights and research delivered right to their inbox.