Parthenon Software Group


5 Development Skills

Posted by: Jessica Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

Software has become a piece of daily life. From checking our smartphones to working on a desktop computer, using software has become the norm, even if we don’t always think about it. But what lies behind that software? The developers, of course. Among the various languages, frameworks and other resources needed to create and deliver the final product are some important techniques.

Stay Organized

Obviously organization is a key piece of practically anything. It aids in maintaining order as well as offering a clear path of action.

Starting to code one piece of software, then jumping to a completely different piece isn’t ideal. It opens up the possibility of a whole range of discombobulation. In addition a gigantic headache and large amounts of stress are probably looming in your near future.

To avoid this, all the pieces of the project should be laid out, outlined and a plan formed. Adherence to this plan is important. Not only will this increase efficiency, it will help with peace of mind. You can ensure that the process is carried out in organized manner. You know what's been done, what's in progress and what still needs to be done.

Don’t over complicate things

As with anything, it’s generally better to keep things as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Sure, you want to maintain a certain level of intricacy, but don’t go overboard.

Why? It might come back to haunt you later on.

What if something breaks? Have fun weeding through complicated code just to find the area/s that need to be fixed. And what if the fix doesn't work because of some other piece of code? Then you have have to fix that instance and so on and so forth.

Moreover, consider your client. If the software is too complicated they probably won't use it because they literally can't use it. For the most part, clients are usually looking for easy to understand software that they can easily run themselves. If they don't get this, they may not be a repeat customer.

And honestly, simplicity isn’t always a bad thing. Often times it can mean greater maintainability, flexibility, speed and efficiency.

Communication

Communication is a necessity in every aspect of the world as we know it. On a daily basis we must be able to articulate any needs we have or any troubles we're having and so on.

The same goes for software development. You must be able to communicate clearly and effectively to ascertain any issues, concerns, needs on both the client side and developer side. Moreover, you must be able to correspond with other developers. Even if you aren't co-developing with someone else, you never know when you might need help.

On the other hand, think about what would happen if there was little to no communication. Honestly speaking, little to nothing would get done. In fact, bad communication could lead to a complete breakdown of a project and/or relations with your client.

In a nutshell, good communication skills, in addition to other skills, will take you far.

Never reuse Code

In other words, Don't Repeat Yourself.

Why not?

Repetition is bad. Avoid it at all cost. Think along the lines of a person constantly repeating themselves. Undoubtedly that can get tiresome. Code reuse follows the same kind of idea.

Code is usually in a constant state of revision -sometimes a lot of revision. If you reuse code, it means that you have to back through all the code and revise each instance of reuse individually. That takes time and effort that could be put to better use elsewhere.

There’s also code inconsistencies to consider. Let’s say you were able to locate some instance of reuse and revise them, but you failed to revise other instances of the same code. What would happen? Obviously things wouldn’t work correctly. Suffice it to say that less code means less chance of failure as well as greater flexibility and better maintainability.

Think in terms of the mind of the client while seeing things through the eye of the designer with the mentality of QA.

That’s a mouth full. Let’s break it down.

  • Mind of the client: Try to think in terms of what your client is thinking. This can be difficult, but you should have some kind of idea if you’ve been in constant communication with them. What does your client want? What are they expecting to see in the final product? What kinds of things do they want to see included?

  • Eye of the Designer: This area encompasses the total design of the project from start to finish. What does your client want the project to look like? What’s going to be aesthetically appealing? What’s going to draw people in? Answering these kinds of questions and putting the answers into practice will enable you to produce an engaging project design.

  • Mentality of QA: The job of the QA department is to test products for bugs and quality issues. Try to think in terms of negating those issues. If there’s something that stands the chance of being broken, how can you avoid that happening? What is the best way to fix a piece that’s already broken? Is the code up to quality requirements?

The Takeaway

While fairly rudimentary, the 5 aforementioned methods are essential to the development process. The practices don't necessarily make up for actual code, but they do aid in forming the basis and reason for said code. If we were to forget about them completely, it’s likely that a project could fall apart in one way or another.





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