Software Development Best Practices

Gimena Aguerreberry
June 25, 2021

Software development is not an easy feat. It involves complex tasks and processes. From ideation and requirement analysis to design, coding, and maintenance, it’s imperative to know and apply the software development best practices to ensure success.

In this post, we will cover software development process best practices that will help you with your future projects.

6 Software Development Process Best Practices

Whether you work independently or are part of a software development company, these tips will help you keep your work simple and hassle-free so you can enjoy doing what you do.

Divide your project into smaller chunks

Whether it is a small project with only a few basic features or a very extensive one with lots of complex elements, you absolutely cannot do it all in one go. It is imperative that you chop up the project into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Firstly, it will help you clearly define exactly what you are supposed to do. You can break it down into the most basic components and work on them one by one. Keep them separate. This will help avoid any confusion that you may face if you worked on all the modules at once. Once you are done with all the modules and have made sure that they all work independently, you can then move on to merging them.

Keep your 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.

This will be beneficial in maintaining coherence as you progress in your development. Because a complex code is like a domino effect, one wrong input and everything may become messy.

Changes and revisions of the code are common in developing a program. So keeping your code simple is being kind to yourself.

Document Everything

One of the most important uses of documentation is to act as a detailed handbook for users. It not only outlines the features and functionalities of your software but also has troubleshooting instructions in case the users run into a problem.

Secondly, the entire process of developing software hinges on its ability to evolve over time. Over the course of a software project’s life, team members are constantly coming up with ways to improve the way that it works. Sometimes, they fix bugs. Other times, they introduce a new feature into product development. All that is possible because their apps are properly documented.

Agile development

As the name implies, agile development is ideal for dynamic and fast environments. In this process, you need your teams to work hand in hand to hit your goals. These collaborative efforts quickly enable the organization to point out problems and streamline the process.

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. Sometimes, we get so carried away writing the code that we forget to check whether or not it works properly. Other times, we may get a little complacent, thinking there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong. Actual projects hold much more value than mere school projects. There is a certain degree to which you can mess up; otherwise, you may end up losing an important client.

Code Review

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.

Conclusion - Software Development Best Practices

Developing software may not be easy, but when done with the right practices and the right mindset, it will become less burdensome, less time-consuming, and more efficient.

We realize that this is not an absolute list of best practices when it comes to the software development process, but it is a great place to start as a new developer. We have covered parts of the basic steps of the development life cycle – some great coding practices, testing and documentation methods, and their numerous advantages.

Once you start implementing these methods, you will develop some great habits that will not only better the quality of your software but also help you with your development process.

"Software Development Best Practices" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Brennan Burling.

Categorized under software development.

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