The life of a software developer can be a particularly demanding one; it inevitably involves late nights, early mornings and copious amounts of caffeine. Because of the pressures involved, the process that a developer undertakes during a project become somewhat ingrained, which can mean that there are missed opportunities when it comes to improving your project. In this guide we look at how you can take small steps to changing your methods, and how these can be highly beneficial to your daily routine.
Free up your thinking
Having a vast amount of experience behind you is great; as a long standing developer you know of the common pitfalls of various technologies, programming languages and software development in general; no doubt you’ve experienced your fair share of problems in development, which has seen you vow to never make the same mistakes again. The downside of this however is that it more often than not stops you from considering options that may be more suitable for the project at hand. So for your next project, try brainstorming free from preformed ideas of where you’ll take the project.
Commit more time to user testing throughout the process
In the pressurised environment of software development it is all too easy to succumb to the stress and rush or limit user testing. However by ensuring that you’re continually testing your product, revisions can be implemented throughout that may avoid a client’s demand for revisions further down the road. However, continual user testing does make the process far longer, but it will inevitably produce a better quality product.
Reconsider your approach
Are you a steadfast agile developer? A dedicated RAD fan? Or perhaps you follow the waterfall model religiously. It’s understandable that developers follow certain methodologies, perhaps through habit or even because they are nervous about stepping outside of their normal processes. However, using an approach should be suited to the project, not the developer. So take your time to learn about other methods, and at least keep your mind-set open to the possibility of using a methodology other than the one you’re used to.
Go out of your comfort zone with new technologies or programming languages
Similarly to methodologies, software developers become accustomed to certain languages and preferences of technology. This is especially unsurprising given the time consuming process of mastering a programming language or the possibilities of new technology. However as we understand at www.requirementone.com it’s a professional responsibility to explore other languages and keep abreast of the accompanying technologies. At the very worst you can expand your industry knowledge.
Improve your relationship with your client
Let’s face it, clients can be difficult. Through the years a person within the industry can lose all empathy for their customers; unreasonable demands, scope creep and ‘pop experts’ asking for the impossible can all make for a negative experience of clients in general.
For software developers it can seem almost impossible to adapt their processes to commit more time to client interaction; however by changing your processes slightly, you may avoid all the common client pitfalls. Small steps such as more frequent milestones and more in-depth requirements confirmation really can make all the difference to a project’s success.
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Cormac Reynolds has written a wide range of articles in the tech area and on software. He enjoys sports and getting out and about.