• Software development is not as easy as it may seem for others. Yet, observing the process itself from the outer side can be even more challenging. It is quite common that CEOs, managers and other stakeholders feel devastated and disappointed simply because they do not have a whole picture of how the processes of software development run. Find out 10 peculiarities about this complex yet gripping process to get rid of the puzzlement and give a wider picture of some dev processes.
Each perspective is limited
Most likely, you’d want to see your future app as a ready-to-use product which is aesthetically built and perfectly operating for you and your clients. However, developers do not always have the same vision as you and may focus on other points. Despite the fact that the perspective of the product outcome and your requirements towards it should always be a key driver to what developers do, your standpoint does not always capture the business side of your needs. It is essential to get the main idea from developers' perspective - they focus primarily on writing high-quality, clean code that works, and there is absolutely nothing wrong about.
Therefore, it is absolutely a must to present the vision that caters for the business purpose of the future product to your project team in the most elaborate way. What can raise the game is to have a Product Owner on the team who will draw his or her full attention to the vision of how to develop the product as well as plan the team work according to that vision.
Features ≠ Quality
  • Focusing on the features quantity neglecting the quality of the main current features is the bane of many developers.
    So how should quality become number one priority again?
  • Improve the usability of the app for the end-users. There’s no need to create dozens of features that users simply will never use.
  • Сut the margin of unexpected errors and time spent idle.
  • Ease the service and maintenance for all the stakeholders.
  • Ensure that you implement new features using data-driven approach based on the feedback from the users and A/B tests.

The consequences of these actions will significantly contribute to not wasting your budget as there won’t be a necessity to spend it on outdated features since you don't have to spend it on unnecessary units, refactoring, technical support, maintenance, and not to forget server space. So when someone from the dev team, UI/UX designer, or a Product Owner puts forward a plan of allocating your budget to mastering and appropriately testing your minimum viable product (MVP), please heed what they suggest.
Too many cooks spoil the broth
  • ​​It can be safely assumed that you're a CEO and/or a business owner and the most essential thing you’d want to focus on is growing your business. We are pretty sure that breathing down developer’s neck while he is slowly and thoroughly writing code would be the last thing on your mind. That's why a talented versatile team that ensures you the entire software development process runs as clockwork is the best thing that can happen for your business.

    Let's say you want to create an iPhone app. Most likely, your team would need one designer to create the UI and UX for your app and two engineers - an iOS engineer and a backend engineer. Just like there is no musician who is equally good at piano, violin and guitar, the same goes with techies - software developers tend to specialize in a particular niche and must collaborate to create a viable product. Pack this team with a Scrum Master and a Business Analyst, and suddenly you will see yourself in a position that there are quite a few people who are interested in making your project amazing (spoiler alert: too many people).
  • Is your project team worth being overmanned?
    All we can say - it depends. But above all, these employees have to add value to the development process, otherwise it will be a waste of time and money.
Haste makes waste

In a marketing and corporate environment, time flies so fast that it seems like there should be 36 hours in a day to deliver products and services and what’s more - to complete that in the most perfect way. Most people strive to meet deadlines but reality is harsh - many do fail. This is less severe, however, still a significant issue in the software development world. What makes it less severe? Well-developed and well-thought product is not built in a week. If quality is your main priority (and it should be), it's worth giving the team enough time to plan, design, develop, validate, and test what they are working on.
Usually, there are 5-7 people involved in a medium-sized project, and all they have to do in order to keep the processes going on is to coordinate their activities according to each other’s area of responsibility so that later on the code is ready to be tested. 

The more you scale, the more time it requires to coordinate more parties involved in the process. Not to mention the changes in the process of development itself as more pieces of the scaled process have become interdependent, both in the dev part and code wise. It is highly recommended to take this into account when planning your project budget and marketing campaigns - a helpful guide to get a bigger picture of scaling would be a business analyst from the software developer's side.
You get what you pay for (within set timeline)
  • We hardly know those who are willing to voluntarily overpay, but it turns out that the process of software development runs a lot like buying a car. Cheaply manufactured cars are unlikely to last long and cater for all your needs. We do not rule out the possibility of finding a really good bargain, however, in the real world, you are more likely to end up with a home garage-manufactured vehicle rather than a solid factory-assembled car. Both still can drive, wheels can be steered, however, that vehicle is not the one you would drive with on business meetings , is it?
If you skimp on the software development, it will immediately affect the processes and the final result. Engineers will do their best to make the most of the time you pay them for, while Product Owners will urge them to implement as many critical features as possible. Add up short deadlines and you may start to get ready to part with your remarkable vision of the product you wanted to create so badly and, to be honest, the product itself.
Every piece of information makes difference
In the world of software development, there’s no such thing as too much information. The more details you share with your dev team about your perspectives, future plans, and current developments , the more thoroughly they can prepare for the expected and unexpected upcoming events in the near future. Once the vital information is withheld, no matter intentionally or not, it can result in missing an important change or overruling important decisions. A change of plans, for instance, which were misinterpreted, can lead to implementing completely not necessary features in the current sprint which were valuable during the last one. 

An idea, which is not yet formed into a clear thought and, therefore, kept inside your mind unaired,  in fact, could have become a new rocking feature that could have taken your project on another level. Good communication is an indispensable resource in the process of software development. So if there are doubts harbouring in your mind, voice your thoughts - appreciation from your team for your input won’t be long in coming!
Devs suggest you are aware of some things

Developers are a narrowly specialized part of the tech world using their own technical terminology and living a code-centric worklife. And, like any other professionals, they expect other people communicating with them to be aware of the core of their field. If you don’t ask for clarification when one is due, they will most probably move on without a second thought. This is the reason why expressing your thoughts or raising questions when something is not clear for you is vital - you might be missing out on valuable information simply because you felt too shy to admit you don’t understand a topic. Both parties are keen on avoiding roadblocks to communication.
A logical question arises - what exactly do you need to know about the development process? Basically, you should get the basics of the software stack your team has chosen. What is a software stack? In short, it is a list of all technologies applied in the project: frameworks, programming languages, services that your development team uses.

If you're using Rails for your backend, you can't just hire a Java engineer and expect them to do his work the way you want them to. You will also need to delve into technical terms: backend, interface, responsive design, bugs - your developer will be using them and you should be on the same wavelength.
Ideal plan is an unreal plan
Frankly speaking, this is the accepted truth that everyone keeps in mind, but which is very challenging to properly consider when outsourcing projects are involved. You can draw up the most streamlined development process implementing high-end practices.Those practices that even include such minor (in fact, not) components that few people consider — time for testing and refactoring, official rest time, and even a vacation quota for each team member. Until your perfect plan goes south.

In fact, there are plenty of options what it could be: a new feature is taking more time to carry out than expected, one of your stakeholders is pushing for an early release (due to marketing campaigns), or even the fact that the tech lead's child went down with the sickness and your CTO has to accompany him to the hospital. Today's Agile approach to software development is a huge asset in this regard. And as long as communication within and around the project is not hindered, such group endeavors including speaking out, listening to each other, and adapting to various alterations should be in the limelight of the development process.
Lost in translation
In the dev world, nowadays you can code on multiple programming languages with new ones arising at a brisk pace. And we could have stated that these languages “behave” just like those we use in everyday life - you’ve learnt it and use it according to those "grammar" rules it operates with. However, in most cases, a software company should be counted as a province on the international tech map and techies working in that province probably speak in their own "dialect". What exactly does it mean? What causes the difficulties is the absence of the unificated language code: in addition to the basic "grammar" of the language, they have worked out additional rules tailor-made for their province and it, unfortunately, ends up being lost in translation for other techies involved in the business communication. 
The trick here is pretty obvious: software engineers are not always capable of communicating effectively with the corporate regarding, for instance, effective organizational adjustments for their work, while senior management may struggle with not being able to communicate business priorities regarding their coding process which varies from company to company. Another hindrance to effective work is connected with understanding other engineer’s code which can be quite challenging as the process to figure out the legacy code left from another developer is quite time-consuming. Hence, it works best when there is a clear understanding that the code coupled with thorough documentation is tailor-made for you. 
Development still goes on after releases
  • You’ve successfully launched your app which seems to work perfectly and you are on cloud nine. Mostly, people reckon they are done with the development for now, but is it so?
    Spoiler alert - certainly not!
First things first - your app requires maintenance to avoid malfunctions and kill possible bugs. Secondly, expect end-users feedback regarding the features and app usability - such information is beyond price on every development stage. Moreover, server and browser specifications rapidly change and your app should relate accordingly.  These and other factors highlight the necessity of long-term strategic thinking behind all the decisions.
  • Is there a DevOps team ready to cover the automatic performance of the application?
    Whose duty will be to develop the application further?
These questions already face you with upcoming financial decisions and functional solutions which should be brought to the table, the sooner the better. Another point to take into consideration is to be certain that in case your current team will not be involved in post-release activities, they prepare everything for the successful handover of the codebase to the next team. 
Instead of conclusion
  • No matter what stacks your team uses or whether it is Kanban or Scrum guidelines you are implementing in your project. The key resource in any project was, is and always will be people (until robots take all our jobs over). If you are open to people and new ideas, if you know how to deliver your thoughts and listen to others accepting their points of view, it will save you immense amount of time and hold your nerves as these skills are essential to solve occuring issues fast and at ease or, even better, these skills allow you to simply prevent obstacles on your way. With a dedicated and cohesive dev team, you can be sure that the project's back is watched and you can rely on your people who are always there to share their expertise, experience and wisdom for the good of the team and the final outcome.

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