5 Most Common Software Development Challenges Programmers Face
The IT industry is ripe with software development challenges, especially because it is constantly evolving and transforming. Organizations across the globe are struggling in the increasingly uncertain socio-political climate and being prepared for the worst is the topmost mandate.
The urgency culture also demands rapid adjustment to and with digital transformation so that an organization does not lag in a predominant tech-based environment. However, it is reported that 45% of digital transformation initiatives do not deliver the expected results.
The firm outlines three major reasons why this happens:
1. Lack of clear priorities and vague business goals.
2. Development practices that have not matured yet.
3. Not enough investment in the right talent force such as data science, analytics, cloud, etc.
Finding the right skilled task force who can tackle the technical challenges in software development effectively is imperative to meeting your business objectives – if they’re clearly defined.
This raises the stakes for software developers and puts more pressure on them to deliver and rise to the occasion when presented with these challenges. Software engineering problems vary across a variety of domains and business landscapes. Currently, the emphasis is on building applications that can run on multiple platforms without modifications.
They also need to be able to integrate programs and provide support throughout the product lifecycle. Moreover, they need to do all that in limited budgets and timelines.
To build a roadmap of success to cope with the emerging software development challenges, we need to understand what they are, and how to resolve them quickly and efficiently.
Software development challenge # 1: Adapting to change
Two factors impact change and digital transformation via software developers. The first is technological while the other has absolutely nothing to do with it. Let’s talk about the first.
1. Digital optimization vs. Transformation
There are still a significant number of companies that have been unable to upgrade their systems and processes and are still living in the early 2000s. Outdated technology is not just inconvenient; it puts your company at risk of cybersecurity threats.
Software developers who work for organizations that are using this technology struggle the most. For example, they are unable to provide the right infrastructure for remote work if a company still employs on-site hosting.
However, there’s a key difference between what digital transformation is and what it means to optimize your organizations’ technology. The latter is about doing what you’ve always been doing but using new technology to do it. This is the case for organizations that want to boost engagement with an existing customer base and increase revenues by selling the same product.
The former is about focusing on the company’s growth and expansion towards new business models, better revenue streams, and innovating products and solutions to software development problems never seen before in the industry.
2. Changing the way we operate as a team
One of the biggest software development challenges has been how teams work together and the kind of culture is fostered. The more open dialog and communication there is between the team members, the stronger they will become in adapting to an organization’s changing needs.
This also ensures that all the team members are on the same page when it comes to solving a problem. Organizations need to transform their internal processes to create a culture that allows software developers to be creative and learn quickly.
Software development challenge # 2: Making user-centric solutions
A programmer or developer can never forget that they work for the end-user. Knowing what the user needs and meeting them is always the top priority, however, this won’t always be aligned with yours. Programmers with relatively less experience struggle with this the most since they have limited direct interaction with their users.
The solution to this is simple: Talk to your user experience designers. They know human-centric design better than anyone else and have direct interaction with people who use the end product. Use their insights to develop better codes and then test them, repeatedly. Apple releases a beta version of the product just to observe user reactions before they proceed to the official launch so they can address any bugs or issues that surface.
Software development challenge # 3: Debugging
Writing code is easy but a debugging situation can quickly get out of hand. Even if you spend days developing the perfect program, your seemingly perfect code could have several errors. New programmers tend to get frustrated more easily because while some bugs are easy to fix, others can be a bit tricky. Don’t beat yourself up for it, not every code is perfect, but every bug has a solution.
Always have a good strategy to begin the debugging process. Instead of wasting time trying to fix the solution, try to figure out why it happened in the first place. Try to cause the same error repeatedly so you can find the root cause. Once you know what it is, it will be easier to fix it.
It is always a good idea to ask for help. Get in touch with the tester who found the bug in the first place and ask them to reproduce it for you.
Software development challenge # 4: Technology updates that are hard to keep up with
One of the drawbacks of being a software engineer in this age is that technology like frameworks, libraries, and tools can become outdated fairly quickly. Front-end frameworks don’t last for more than a year or two until a newer version is available. That means developers have to learn to get used to them more quickly. Ask a veteran programmer for tips and tricks to adapt to new iterations quickly because they’re used to it.
Make sure you’re carving out time to learn new systems and staying updated with the trends. Learn how to use updated software in your spare time so you don’t waste time getting accustomed to it and there are no hiccups in your workflow. The more you invest in your personal development and learning new codes, the more innovative your codes will be.
Software development challenge # 5: Dealing with security threats
As a beginner developer, you might underestimate the importance of looking out for security loopholes in your code. This could lead to a security breach because data is the most valuable asset for an organization, and competitors or hackers will do anything to get it. Remember, a secure code is just as important as an error-free one if not more. This is another area where you need to be ahead of the curve, secure your code so it’s not vulnerable to hackers.
Make sure you log out of all software once you’re done using it and password protect all your devices. Experts also recommend using parameterized queries for all the programming languages you use in case a hacker uses SQL injections to steal your data like login details, etc.
These are some of the most common challenges that a programmer faces and some useful tips and tricks to deal with them. However, with the technology landscape being super dynamic, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends to navigate the pace of innovation and be ahead of the curve.
See Also: The Life Of a Programmer