The IT sector is highly dynamic, vast, and evolving, with IDC projecting the tech industry to exceed $5.3Tn in 2022.
Software development plays a crucial role in this sector and is influenced directly by many factors. These include changing technology, market conditions, growing complexities, and the rising challenges in software development projects. Here are some lists of major Software Development Challenges And Solutions you need to learn.
The software developers/ engineering teams at different business landscapes and domains witness diverse challenges. For example, companies nowadays follow the ‘develop once, run everywhere’ paradigm wherein a single app can run on several platforms.
What makes this more complex is the requirement to integrate varied programs and retain support throughout the software project’s lifecycle. Plus, increasing demands are imposed upon software developers, pushing them to function within limited timelines and budgets.
This article will discuss the ten common software development challenges and solutions to overcome them. However, before diving into that, let’s first understand what software development is and why it is important.
What is the Significance of Software Development?
Software development plays a significant role in creating software that helps organizations automate processes, enhance customer management, and boost efficiency. Additionally, it helps them keep pace with the rapidly-changing customer and employee needs.
Software is what lays the foundation of nearly every business model nowadays.
10 Common Software Development Challenges and their Solutions:
Challenge 1: The Software Project Infrastructure
An unconfirmed project development environment is one of the most common software development challenges. If the project environment isn’t available, you won’t be able to start your project in time and within budget. Resultantly, that’ll impact your project delivery.
To ascertain efficient software development, access pre-production and test environments during the creation, testing, and UAT (user acceptance testing) phase. Spend on a powerful IT infrastructure to develop an efficient project development environment.
Challenge 2: Software Development Expectations and Final Outcome
Another reason for complexity in software development is the persistent changing of the requirements or scope creep. In a Stack Overflow survey, 33 percent of the developers stated creating products with unstated requirements was the biggest challenge.
Requirement gathering isn’t just about a few business associates creating their ideal product. It has much to do with understanding what a software project will offer.
Establishing strong communication and a systematic process will ascertain that the final product outcome matches your requirements and expectations. Keep in mind the below listed best practices to avoid facing such challenges in software development projects.
- Don’t just assume the end-user requirements and needs.
- Define and then agree to the project scope.
- Consider user needs before beginning the software development.
- Communicate the expectations and needs between the ideation and development teams.
- Develop a thorough, clear, concise requirements report and understand it well.
- Consider UX from the beginning of the software product development process.
- Develop a product prototype first to confirm or/and refine the final approved requirements.
Challenge 3: Strict Time Constraints
Besides these software development challenges, the third common challenge is estimating resources and time complexity. It is crucial to maintain a realistic deadline, given the timeline and budget constraints.
That way, the developers know the time they can invest in working on bug fixes, or improving certain features, for example. If the developer has limited time to concentrate on a certain aspect of the software, it might not operate well.
If we undervalue the time needed to complete a particular task, there’ll be unwanted setbacks in the software development process. Meanwhile, if we take longer than expected, the project will extend into an unsettling timeframe.
A great way to prevent this challenge is by dividing bigger tasks into smaller bits, so they are more manageable. You can further avoid challenges of agile software development by brainstorming before the project starts to minimize delays in timetables.
That will help the developers prioritize their duties and determine which task needs to be completed by a particular date.
Challenge 4: Adapting to the Latest Technologies
Though companies have transformed digitally over the years, many still grapple with bringing their processes and systems to the twenty-first century.
Handling outdated technology is one of the prime challenges of software engineering:
- Legacy systems act as the major target for the bad actors,
- The end-users are unable to find information,
- Companies waste money and time because of manual processes and bad decisions, and
- Many opportunities are missed out on due to poorly-managed databases.
According to McKinsey research, 45 percent of digital transformation initiatives provide less profit than expected.
To overcome the challenges of agile software development and have successful digital transformations, McKinsey suggests companies:
- Follow mature agile development approaches
- Clear and realistic priorities that match the business goals
- Invest in the correct talent and technology- AI/ML, data science, etc.
Developers should constantly polish their skillset and keep themselves updated with the latest technology trends to remain relevant. They should learn new frameworks, programming languages, algorithms, and systems.
Moreover, practicing new codes will help developers get better at writing codes and creating more innovative software products.
Challenge 5: Neglecting Quality Assurance
Under-scoping is one of the most common reasons for errors and bugs during the software development process. If your project wasn’t scoped properly from the beginning, the developers may suppress errors or not review code to meet deadlines.
That’s when semicolons start going missing from code, or the code is checked upon without going through a strong code review process. Consequently, bugs galore, causing frequent software crashes.
Quality assurance is important for a successful software launch and shouldn’t be overlooked. If you notice developers rushing in during the development phase, discourage them instantly. Motivate them to utilize the best coding standards to meet your requirements more efficiently.
A lean software development approach is ideally helpful here. Set achievable, short milestones, and verify that you are heading in the correct direction. And then iterate.
Treating the challenges of agile software development right at the source is more effective than dealing with a symptom. So, take some time to determine the root cause of the issue — whether it is an absence of time or skill. That will yield huge savings in both effort and money.
eSparkBiz can alleviate this process as our expert testers follow an integrated approach to enhance your project quality. Get in touch with us to never compromise on coding quality standards.
Challenge 6: Product Design Influences
The product designs have a continuous influence from the developers, stakeholders, and other external and internal factors. Hence, handling these influences becomes imperative to improve system quality and minimize the challenges of software engineering.
Besides, the rise in simple, easily accessible apps has led to companies working hard to meet the growing user expectations.
Ensure that you streamline the product design and provide a consistent user experience across all operating systems and devices.
Consider designing solutions using the reversibility concept. That implies having the choice to reverse the entire design components so they aren’t reliant on just one technology or tool.
Implement solutions that have a flexible architecture to overcome changes without the need to redesign the complete solution.
Challenge 7: Integrating Apps and Systems
Many different apps, systems, and technologies can be integrated into third-party apps. However, integrating third-party or any other custom apps, like your website, or ERP systems, brings challenges to your software project.
The sad news is that the biggest challenges in integration remain hidden during the development phase and emerge in the end. Such sudden software development challenges lead to additional costs, lowered quality, delays, and even project failure (in some cases).
To avoid the software from facing the constraints of other apps and systems, developers should:
- Have a proper understanding of the end-user requirement
- Research and discover new technologies
- Design and create new solutions
- Pay more attention to R&D, prototyping, and testing
- Test and analyze ideas to ascertain optimum integration
Challenge 8: Poor Project Management
The software development sector is quite famous for its high project failure rate. The major reason for project failures is over-budgeting, lower end-user satisfaction, poor staff, and high development time.
Besides, multi-tasking may give more trouble to you than expected. The developers cannot concentrate on a module or task if you keep bombarding them with multiple tasks.
A great way to cope with such challenges of software engineering is by leveraging project management tools such as GUIDEcx. That’ll help keep your resources, teams, and projects on track and well organized.
Time-tracking tools such as Harvest and Toggl can also help developers keep track of the effort they are putting in for each task. Always maintain a sequential task allocation pattern than a parallel one and motivate developers to do their best in everything.
Challenge 9: Controlled Software Testing Environment
It isn’t easy to test software in a controlled environment as users are immersed in an entirely realistic working scenario. It becomes impractical to understand how users will actually use your software in varied situations regularly until it is deployed.
Also Read: Top Software Testing Trends of Current Time
But, with software apps for B2C and B2B segments getting more diverse, controlled testing isn’t sufficient and poses software development challenges.
For the success of your software, it’s crucial to test it in a distinct real-life testing environment. That will help you understand what’s working and what’s not in real-life vs controlled use. We, as a software development company, do rigorous testing of any software before we release it in the market.
Challenge 10: Security Challenges:
There is a rise in security breaches. A study estimates that 96 per cent of web apps have no less than one hazardous vulnerability. How can you deal with emerging security breaches? How can you keep your app or software secure?
Security isn’t the responsibility of a software engineer alone. The stakeholders, including business analysts, project managers, technical architects, developers, etc., are equally responsible for it.
To maintain a good security infrastructure and avoid unforeseen software development challenges, keep the below best practices in mind:
- Create software using the right programming languages with pre-built security features.
- Don’t solely rely on technology to enhance your software security.
- Perform crucial core activities to develop safe and secure apps and systems.
- Implement security assurance activities like code review and penetration testing.
Top 5 Resources to Combat Software Development Challenges
Stack Overflow is the most trusted, largest online community for developers to find solutions to major software development complexities. The platform includes extensive data on several topics associated with software development challenges and solutions to combat them.
On average, over 100mn developers visit the platform every month. Developers love Stack Overflow as they get helpful suggestions and insights from the developers’ community on the platform.
Code Project is a free-source website that helps solve common code-related challenges of software engineering. The platform has several tutorials, articles and Q&As to help software developers write error-free code.
It also helps developers enhance their technical knowledge and exchange ideas with others.
DEV is the place where software developers can stay up-to-date, share, and build their careers. The community website is full of skilled developers willing to help others with their knowledge and experience.
Reddit is the hub of hundreds of subreddits or communities where real individuals interact with one another. Software developers can find an array of subreddits on Reddit, such as r/learnprogramming, r/Coding, and r/programming.
On Reddit, you will find discussions about various topics related to the challenges of software engineering.
CodeSignal is a helpful website for beginner software developers. It allows them to sharpen coding skills and give coding assessments and tests. The website has an array of languages for the developers to choose from to practice and write flawless code.
5 Useful Software Development Tools for Software Developers
Now that you know the common software development challenges and solutions, let’s learn about a few useful software development tools.
This web-based repository enables developers to create software and apps, manage projects, as well as review and host code. GitHub allows developers to submit their project and share it with others. Anyone can download the project and contribute their input to it.
GitHub is an amazing spot for collaborative software development, where developers can find, share, and create better software.
Slack is one of the most famous software development tools that help in workflow management. It is where the individuals you require and the data you share come together or merge to get work done.
Slack is an incredible communication tool and helps businesses communicate better between different teams and departments.
Jira is a tool agile teams often use to deal with the challenges of agile software development. It assists in planning, tracking, and managing a software development project. Additionally, Jira helps customize workflow, collaborate, and launch large software.
Besides, it helps immensely in project management and allows developers to handle team backlog, visualize ongoing work, and create reports.
With more than 4mn users globally and 60+ applications, the platform is known for improving business productivity.
Linx is another low-code software development tool used to develop and automate backend applications and web services. Besides, it hosts integrations, automation, and APIs without needing any code, framework, or infrastructure.
Linx comes with a simple, ‘drag-and-drop’ interface. It accelerates the automation and development of business procedures and makes system and database integration easy. It eases the challenges of software engineering to a large extent.
Regardless of the setbacks you witness during software development, it’s crucial to know that these issues can be solved.
The aforementioned software development challenges and solutions are just a few of the many common problems we could cover. There is more than meets the eyes. So, always be open to embracing setbacks that come your way and think of innovative solutions to fix them.
Moreover, you must always try to learn and stay updated with the latest software industry trends. That will help make the software development process more efficient and easier.