Failure rate among technology projects tends to be high. 25 per cent of the projects fail while 20 to 25 per cent don’t get any return on investment and 50 per cent of them need to be reworked by the time they are complete.
According to a research, 75 per cent of the executives think that their software projects will go down the drain. This doesn’t only waste a lot of money, but a lot of time as well. Most of these failures can be avoided if certain factors are taken into account beforehand.
Here are Some Common Mistakes that Software Developers Make and Ways to Avoid / Fix Them:
1. Not testing on all browsers
It is one of the biggest mistakes that developers make. However, by checking their program on one or two popular browsers, developers risk their program adaptation. You should make sure to check software on all major browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. It is highly likely that you would find bugs in almost all browsers, hence, it would be better if you don’t leave testing for the end.
Often, developers are biased towards their favourite browser and design their program accordingly. A browser-centric site will always exhibit poor quality when displayed via other browsers. It would obviously be not feasible to check each and every page in all the browsers. So, you can conduct random tests. Also, there are a lot of free tools available that can do the job such as site scanner. Through websites such as http://browsershots.org/, you can easily check how your program would look on multiple browsers.
2. Not paying attention to load time
Just checking that your program is working seamlessly at your end because you might have a high-speed internet is not enough. You need to think from the perspective of your users. You need to take into account the fact that your site might take longer to load owing to uncompressed images or slow speed internet and users usually don’t like waiting that long. A one second delay reduces page views by 11 per cent and customer satisfaction by 16 per cent. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you need to optimize bandwidth usage.
As per Yahoo, 80 per cent of the load time is consumed in downloading different components of a page such as images, scripts and stylesheets. The quickest way to improve the speed of your website is to simplify your design. You can do that by reducing the number of components on each page, which in turn will reduce the number of HTTP requests to load the page.
3. Ignoring scalability
High competition and constant innovation have put the development teams under pressure. Consequently, they often focus on getting the basic product out in the market as soon as possible, ignoring some vital issues in the process. One such issue is scaling, which often does not seem quite important during the initial stages.
If you think you have done your job just by selecting scalable database and webserver, you are wrong. There are many other details that you need to take into account. For example, in the future, the number of users may increase and your software should be able to cater to increased usage and demand. In case you haven’t scaled your software appropriately, the server will take a lot of time to process requests. In certain cases, data may also become quite huge and maintenance and backing up of this data becomes very challenging. Hence, it is crucial to select the right database.
4. Ignoring SEO
One major mistake developers make regarding SEO is not hiring a SEO specialist. SEO is not everyone’s cup of tea; while developers are experts at their own jobs, it is not necessary that they can handle SEO as well. It takes a lot time, practice and in-depth knowledge about search engines to acquire mastery in SEO. To be an SEO specialist, you need to constantly experiment and track your results.
Another mistake that developers make is postponing SEO till the end. They fail to realize that SEO is not just about having good content and tags, instead it is also about efficient load times, back linking and crawlable site architecture.
Architecture is especially important since it allows search engines to understand what your site is all about. You need to take special care about indexation. The search engine needs to read your website and hence the main portion of your site should be text based. Plus, if you need to index more pages, you need to have internal links that a search engine can crawl through.
5. Poor backup practices
Not having enough backup can have a drastic impact on your product. Imagine losing hours of work on coding. Hence, it is imperative that you back up each day. You can opt from various types of backup strategies. One strategy is full backup. Full backups, however, take a lot of time and are not really necessary where are there are no significant changes.
The second option is differential backup, in which all files that have undergone any changes are stored. This type of back up takes less time and there is also less redundancy. Incremental back up is the third option. In this plan, all files that have been changed since the last back up are saved. Incremental backup uses less media and is also time effective.
Software development is a tedious and time-consuming process. It takes days and weeks to write codes and make your product workable. Hence, you need to test your product at each stage. Automation testing has made that easier these days.
Also, you need to make sure that your product is of top-notch quality and stands out which you can conveniently ensure using various quality assurance tools. With a plethora of choices available, customers don’t really give much thought before switching. You may have a great idea, but if you don’t pay attention to the nitty gritties of your product, they may cost you a lot in the long run.