How many times have you had to scrap everything and start again when developing code? How many times have you refactored, edited, or rebuilt that one flawed function that crashes every five minutes?

Software development is more of an art than a science, but years of misery for developers have shown a few frequent blunders that have sunk entire companies and stranded products in development hell. Regrettably, practically everyone has to uncover these issues on their own.

Most people make hundreds of mistakes on their journey to building usable software—some little, some large, but all of them useless and time-consuming.

However, a few of these typical errors are the most aggravating because they’re so easy to avoid but can cause your release cycle to be delayed by months if you don’t take the proper steps to remedy them.

Here are six basic blunders that might drastically slow down the development of your software product.

1. Making it up as you go along

You don’t want to develop algorithms or flowcharts, of course. That’s natural; you’re no longer in college and you’re in the real world. But it’s possible that you should go ahead and do it anyway. One of the most time-effective strategies to optimize your development process is to plan out exactly what you’re going to do before you do it.

You’ll save dozens of hours of reworking, backtracking, and looking blankly at the screen if you spend ten minutes building a simple algorithm or sitemap. It will also save you time and effort because you will be able to properly convey your goal and process to your clients (and coworkers) without having to rely on inconvenient updates and catch-up sessions.

2. Breezing through the documentation

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with algorithms, emails, READMEs, and project reports. You simply want to write code! However, cutting corners in your project’s documentation is the last thing you want to do. Reading code is notoriously difficult for developers; research suggests that reading code is far more difficult than writing it.

So, if there’s even a remote chance that anyone on the planet will see, use, or debug your code in the next ten years, document it. It is not worth the 15 minutes you would save by skipping it.

By the way, this works both ways. A typical programming error is to use a dependency or library without first reading the documentation. This is a complete waste of time, as proven by hundreds of memes. Stack Overflow and Mozilla’s MDN are excellent resources, but nine out of ten developers will find everything they need in the documentation.

3. Getting too attached to the product

It’s understandable if you feel that the project is your kid. The technology staff will seek to protect the product under constant pressure from management and corporate. However, as you gain expertise, you’ll discover that sometimes it’s best to cut off one arm rather than sacrifice the entire body.

It’s fine, though, to put off a feature until the next release or to fall short on a commitment. The priority should be deploying a workable, seamless experience on a consistent timetable, rather than delivering a big list of buggy features two weeks after the deadline at the end of an unsustainable sprint. On-time, on budget, and on spec—in that order—is the magic mantra.

4. Not communicating properly

Whether you’re working on a 1,000-person multinational or a two-person startup, failing to communicate your needs and expectations may wreak havoc on your product and the business value you’ve built.

If you must set a timeline, allow plenty of time for bugs, tests, and other misadventures. If you need to extend a deadline, say so rather than trying to catch up by working all-nighters, skipping crucial areas of the codebase, or patching in hacky solutions that will only take you longer to fix when they break. If that button isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, take the time to fix it properly right away.

5. Farming everything out to dependencies

The present software environment is enormously complex, yet it is perfectly suited for users to build atop without having to worry about the tedious details.

The issues begin when you begin fiddling around the library in an attempt to match it to your use case without breaking anything in the process of saving time. The issue is self-evident. It’s not always a bad idea to roll your own implementation, especially if yours is a unique situation. It’s also safer.

6. Trying to reinvent the wheel

You can’t have it both ways: while you shouldn’t outsource everything, you shouldn’t build something that already exists simply to do it yourself. While there isn’t always a library that can assist you, there is generally one. And you can save a lot of effort by using it instead of attempting to develop a bubble sort, Djikstra’s shortest-path method, or any of the other basic algorithms that you should really just utilize a dependency for.

Picking your battles is where true wisdom lies.

Slow down to speed up

Most of the mistakes that slow down your software development process comes when you’re trying to speed it up, as you’ve probably noticed. The truth is that if you focus solely on producing clean code, ensuring that your coworkers and clients are aware of what you’re doing and how long it will take, and making thoughtful design decisions, you will always have faster releases than if you wing it.

This isn’t thrilling news, but it’s the truth—and if you don’t believe me, watch what happens if you do the exact opposite. Remember the mistakes to avoid the next time you have to make a time-sensitive decision and take a long way. It’s more efficient.

For more info:

Also Read: