October 29, 2020
5 Best Practices for Your Software Development Process
Your development process is the centerpiece of your application development lifecycle. It takes inflows from the architecture design, requirements, and user-experiences. It then produces outflows for testing and DevOps to handle.
At one point or another, everything touches the development process. To make sure your development process functions efficiently, it’s critical to apply coding and review standards to make it possible to operate in short 2-4 week sprints. And your repository management strategy must include branching, merging and pull requests.
It’s also a good idea to define all the business, market, user and technical requirements prior to beginning each sprint. Another key element is a formal change-process to modify requirements on the fly after each sprint begins. Be sure to also include unit tests for every software component and utilize a project tracking system to manage requirements and development tasks.
5 Software Development Process Best Practices
To help your software team build out a comprehensive development process, here are five additional best-practice recommendations:
1. Define Your Minimum Viable Product:
Establish the “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP that your software projects need to achieve. This will help launch applications quickly and with a small budget. Your software teams can also pinpoint the right audience and collect sufficient validated data with the least effort. Once an application becomes an MVP, the software team can then work to increase its capabilities.
2. Keep Code Simple and Consistent:
The idea is to reduce unnecessary complexity. Simple code, sometimes referred to as clean code, is easier to read and easier to manage. Simplicity and a consistent code style will also make it a lot easier on the development team when it’s time to upgrade—particularly if the original developers are no longer on the team.
3. Test Continuously:
Continuous end-to-end testing will give you more confidence in your code quality. You will also ensure the code aligns with
user needs and that all components work together as expected. Continuous testing also increases your code coverage.
4. Use Multiple Resources to Check Code:
Before code is sent to the testing team, have developers check their code with another developer. In addition to identifying bugs earlier in the development process, it helps developers learn from each other so they can improve their coding skills.
“The software development team should act as one cohesive unit. Ideally, team members should be considered equal during the whole development process, which includes planning, approaches, implementations—and even celebrations. All opinions matter and all team members should be heard. Doing so instills ownership for the success of the project across the entire team.”
Rodolfo Carmona – Scrum Master
5. Set Realistic Time and Budget Estimates:
Short timelines and tight budgets create stress. By the same token, too much time may cause developers to procrastinate, and too big of a budget may cause unnecessary spending. Try to find that sweet spot that keeps developers moving forward cost-efficiently—but without putting too much strain on them so that the quality of the code suffers.
One More Tip: Always Involve Your End-Users
Another key aspect to keep in mind is to allow your end-users to be involved in the software development process as much as possible. Developers should interact at various times to get end-user feedback and to make sure the code functions align with what end-users really want. The more involved the end-users are, the better the software usually turns out.