Building quality software is every developer’s dream. To create software that resonates with their customers, developers have created a few strategies to streamline their projects and focus on what’s important.
- Plan how the software is to be implemented in everyday use
- Analyze the user base and design a framework to fit the different types of users
These steps help separate things that need immediate attention from the ones that aren’t so important.
Software development saw a fresh beginning in Lean methodology, which was introduced just a few years ago. The hubbub originated from a book written by Tom and Mary Poppenieck who translated Lean manufacturing principles into software development.
Our design feedback loops are far too long. It’s really that simple. We think we know what the right thing is, spend an inordinate amount of time doing it, and find out we were wrong. We may only be just a bit wrong, but it doesn’t matter – once the product is done, if it’s wrong it will not delight customers. There is no sense using agile processes if we don’t use them to drive the feedback loop all the way to the market down to as short a loop as possible. And that’s what is happening with continuous delivery. That’s why continuous delivery is the software engineering process(es) of the future.
This book became very popular in the developer community and these agile features were incorporated into software development around the globe.
Lean principles can be your guiding light in software development. This methodology roots out from lean manufacturing approach and is also known as ‘just-in-time production’. The popular auto manufacturing company Toyota mastered the Lean approach and transformed their business entirely using these principles.
Lean software development has been the talk of the town, for various purposes. Firstly, it has been tried and tested by giants like Toyota. Secondly, the model is highly acceptable in the software development industry because of its principles. Here are the 7 key principles for building quality software according to the Lean model:
1. Eliminate Waste
2. Build Quality
3. Create Knowledge
4. Defer Commitment
5. Deliver Fast
6. Respect People
7. Optimize the Whole
Let’s explore some of the best practices you can adopt, while keeping the Lean principles in mind. If you want to produce high quality software, make sure you go through this checklist:
To find out how a software solves a certain problem, a detailed user scenario is spread out for the developer to understand. Developers are supposed to make notes of this description, which should be presented formally. The reason why Apple runs one of the best software in the world is because they are extremely focused on user scenarios and solving user problems.
The art of software development lies in continuous testing and improvement. You can build multiple tests as you go about the development journey. That’s why, automated regression testing is very important for the quality of a software. The process is simple: you must test and retest a software as you move towards the completion of your product. Make sure the whole process is error-free and runs smoothly. If you are developing a software, make sure you run multiple regression tests by automating it.
The most common software errors arise because everyone is not on the same page. The coding is either poorly done or has errors. Change is a painful process, but change is inevitable for a software’s success.
Beginners in this field often make the mistake of applying the easiest, most convenient solution to any problem which arises during development. These easy solutions don’t always prove right in real-world situations.
When a detailed user scenario is given, a senior developer would know how to adopt a strategy and fit best practices by collecting user data. Difficult elements like data comparison will also become clear in this phase.
If you plan to create high quality software which is reliable, make sure your design and architectural framework is strong enough to bear possible changes in the future. Like we mentioned before, change seems like an enemy at this point, but it is going to make your software a reliable one for years to come.
Editing poor design
Keep in mind that poor design elements will pop up, even in the most complex software created by multiple developers. You need to refactor poor design and shape it into a perfect one.
At first glance, it might seem risky to purposefully change code that is working, especially because we said that change is the enemy. However, the reality is that although poorly designed things can work in the short run, they do more harm than good during the lifespan of the system.
We need to stop thinking that making edits is wasteful, and look beyond that. There is a strong possibility that the change is going to make the software more user-friendly. There are many names when it comes to popular software. Windows, iOS and Adobe Photoshop are only some of the software that are evolving into better versions with each update.
Always think about your user. All the messages reaching a user through your software must be polite and witty. The success of any product lies with quality assurance – which leads to happy customers. Be open about receiving feedback and act upon it to improve your work as soon as you can.
Never leave users waiting to contact you or to hear back from you. On the other hand, be regular and specific with your documentation as well, so you don’t miss out on minor details. It all comes back to the user – the happier they are, the more popular your product becomes.
Erica Silva is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs