9 Most Common Software Development Challenges Programmers Face

9 Most Common Software Development Challenges Programmers Face
This is a highly competitive era, especially if we talk about the information technology industry, and similarly, it is highly complex, vast, and dynamic. And, this software development domain is directly influenced by several parameters such as growing complexities, changing technology trends, market conditions, as well as increasing software development challenges.

Every time a project delivery gets delayed or bugs occur in the product, all start blaming the software development teams and in that also, only developers. But nobody understands what’s going wrong. Not even the developers itself.

And, to enhance the reliability of your software development initiatives and drive efficiency in your software development projects, it is important to understand the major challenges in software development and devise a systematic roadmap to cope with every challenge.

So here we are with a complete list of Software Development Challenges. But to understand the Software Development Challenges well, it is very important to understand what software development is. So, let’s begin the post with a brief intro about it.

What is Software Development?

A process by which individual or standalone software is created using a specific programming language is what we call Software Development.

In other words, to create a programmed or computer coded software to address a unique business or personal objective, an iterative logical process occurs, and that is what we call Software development. It is usually an intended initiative that comprises several steps or stages that further result in the creation of operational software.

Software development, which is carried out by a software programmer, is primarily achieved through computer programming and includes processes such as initial research, data flow design, flow charts, process flow design, technical documentation, debugging, software testing, and other software architecture techniques. This is known as application development, software design, and software development life cycle (SDLC).

Most Commonly Faced Software Development Challenges

1. Requirements Volatility

Believe it or not many times, the constant changing of requirements is the major reason behind the complexity of software projects. And, this is no surprise that near about 33% of the respondents of the 2016 Developer Survey by Stack Overflow consider their biggest challenge is building products with unspecific requirements.

a. Try to define and agree on the scope of the project.
b. It is very important to make sure that the project team fully understands the needs, and it’s been communicated in between teams clearly because assuming end-user needs and requirements will not help.
c. Involve users from the start while refurbishing a product. Also, consider UX from the start, especially in the case of new product development.
d. First, confirm your understanding of the requirements and then create a clear, concise, and thorough requirements document.
e. And also create a prototype to confirm and/or refine final agreed-upon requirements, if necessary.

2. Extremely High Competition

We all know that this is a highly competitive era. If one software industry X has a great idea, there are high chances that another software company Y may also have ready thought of it, and even if not, there may be no way to determine how close any ABC company is to develop it. It depicts that, especially in the software industry, market pressures are so high.

Whether local or international, competition factors can surely impact software companies in terms of customer retention, pricing structures, customer reach, service level agreements, etc.

Hence, it is very important to reduce the pressure on team members for better work performance. So, to flush out all factors that may impact the successfulness of software-related projects, Project managers will need to work closely with executives, business owners, and other stakeholders.

That is because we can’t deny the fact that due to high competition, there have been many software companies that have implemented and developed terrific software only to find the return on their investment.

3. Never-Ending Technological Advances

No matter if you are a technology enthusiast or not, you must be well aware that technology is advancing at the speed of light nowadays. Even though these new changes bring scope to learn new things each day, still after a point of time, it gets challenging too.

Not all deny these frequent changes because when you ask any software developer, most would say that this new technology coming around every day is the most challenging as well as the fascinating part of their work.

And undoubtedly, it is because most of the individuals enjoy learning something new every day, especially in their professional journey. Still, there is a part of mass who feels that it hinders them from having proficiency in one technology and becomes more challenging to work.

Well, if you are wondering how and why learning new is challenging, then imagine yourself seeing your previous learning become obsolete as you have to learn a new skill every day.

Plus, not everyone who is a software developer is an expert in all tech advancements that come about. Hence, maybe learning new technical skills is a boon in the longer run, but surely challenging also.

4. Numerous Software Iterations for Quality Testing and Bug Fixes

We all know, creating or writing code is not all when you are developing a product. To ensure the actual outcome meets the intended outcome, various iterations of testing occur throughout the project cycle within these projects. And, to discover issues/bugs throughout the testing phases is very common that further requires retesting and fixing that too until the issues are resolved.

And, sometimes this process becomes more difficult for project teams to isolate issues, requiring escalation to more senior IT staff/developers. Because to ensure all issues are resolved before systems going live, Project managers need to practice sound judgment. There is no second thought in saying that the testing phase is critical in ensuring no additional rework is required after going live, and to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

5. Not Understanding the Project

We all know that developers do not directly interact with the clients, and this is because of the process that the project manager or bidder will talk to the clients. So, when it comes to users, who have a personal idea to have the software,  it surely attracts difficulties for a developer as they barely get to interact with the clients directly.

Well, this same issue befalls when someone works on the unestablished project because we all know that almost every development project needs pre-production and test. Sometimes it’s hard to cope up and work on each part of the project single-handedly, especially when you get some complex project.

Also, there are times when you might have to work on code written by another developer, and this creates problems for new developers generally. Because they are no well experienced in handling such situations. So, this is obvious that if you have not understood the task well before taking it in the hands, then there are high chances that you are ruining it.

6. Integration

In the mid steps of software development, there are a lot of different technologies, systems, and applications, which are integrated into third-party applications. But almost always, the biggest issue in integration is stayed hidden throughout the development process. And as a result, it leads to extra cost, lower quality, and delays, and sometimes even failure of the project.

So to perform software solution for the system, Software developers should keep remembering these keys-

a. Proper knowledge of user requirements
b. Research and discover new technologies, develop & design a new solution, and test them to ensure integration
c. Dedicate more & more time to research, prototyping, and development testing.

7. Security Threats

This is an undeniable fact that data is a valuable commodity for almost everyone. And some people, including your client, are willing to pay a lot for its security.

Undoubtedly clients rely on you to keep their information safe from these threats. And, believe it or not, that’s a huge pressure. Sadly, newcomers often overlook security loopholes in their code and also don’t become aware of the consequences until after a security breach happens.

You might end up overlooking security loopholes, as a new programmer, especially if your focus is more on giving error-free code instead of checking to see if it is secure. But must say hackers are always looking for ways to infiltrate your code as they know this weakness.

We agree that one can’t stop anyone from trying to hack the code, but you can always be careful and try harder to make it difficult for them to do so by securing it against common hacking methods. Want to know how? Here are the tips:

a. For SQL injections, use parameterized queries

To steal data like a user’s login details, there are chances that an attacker uses SQL injections. So, you can use parameterized queries in the programming language you use to prevent this kind of attack.

b. Make your workstation secure

Anyone can be an Attacker. They don’t attack online always. For example, they can be someone in your workplace, too. Like  if you fired an employee and he/she may decide to get back at your company by using your system to modify or steal important data on a project. 

So, log off from any software you are using after you are done with it to prevent this kind of attack from happening.

8. Time Estimation

This is one very important decision to take while starting to create a project because many times, people make this mistake. You may not know how to make a good estimate. Or it is also possible that you gave an estimate, but unfortunately, you didn’t stick to it. Or in the end, your project went over schedule as you couldn’t keep up with the rest of the team. So, you need to start giving the right speculations.

You will be asked to provide an estimate of the time as a professional working in an industry that is controlled by deadlines. So, you need to think about parameters such as how much it would take to complete a task such as debugging code or completing certain features in a sprint.

In software development, estimates are important. They can be a basis either for project schedules or for a price quote. And, while it comes to client relations, schedule delays cause problems as well as compromise trust.

You might be tempted to put in more time than you need for a task as a new programmer, with the assumption that working this way might impress your boss and be good for the project. But make sure that such measures can come back to bite you. Because it will do nothing but can put you way behind schedule, which makes you look bad. So try these tips:

a. Break down tasks

If you want to make tasks more manageable, the best way you can prefer is to break them down into a series of smaller tasks. For example, QA recognizes a dozen of bugs in your work. So, don’t panic; look at each fix as a mini task and estimate the time it might take you to complete each of these tasks. Because cutting down the workload this way, will keep things from becoming overwhelming.

b. Time yourself appropriately

This is for sure that you need to give each task a time frame for completion, but try to give yourself a buffer, too. For example, set yourself a buffer by keeping the time frame at 30 minutes if a task would normally take 20 minutes. Because you never know what disturbance or circumstances may occur.

9.  Ignoring Best Code Development Practices

This is common, that to save time and meet deadlines, developers do things like not reviewing code or suppressing errors. But don’t forget that for a successful launch, following a formal quality assurance process is imperative.

So, if you, a project manager, witness developers trying to cut corners in the development process, stop it quickly. Because using best code development practices is important/necessary to meet the requirements sooner and that too in a more efficient manner.

Concluding Thoughts

So, we have seen several software development problems that are very common to witness in IT organizations. So, now you can easily start looking for its solutions.

Must say you can try implementing software development best practices because it will surely help reduce these problems to a large extent.
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