IT Strategy

6 Software Development Issues and Challenges

The software development project is a collaborative effort of many people. Issues and errors might occur at any level.

Developing software is not a cakewalk, especially in today’s volatile and ever-changing markets, and it can get surprisingly challenging to deliver a truly valuable product that truly matters. So many companies invest in custom software just to end up with an irrelevant product that brings little to no value both to the business and its customers. This is a highly competitive area, and there are countless businesses in each market niche competing fiercely for each client. Of course, the quality of the software is not the only factor contributing to the success of your business, but you’d still want your development projects to run smoothly and achieve their objectives. That is exactly why you would want to be aware of all the possible software development issues and challenges that might hinder your future product. 

The software development project is a collaborative effort of many people: you, designers, software developers, project managers, quality assurance experts, the maintenance team, and all the other people involved in the team administration and management. Issues and errors might occur at any level, and you yourself are not an exception. However, there are ways to prepare for the software development challenges and solutions to all the possible issues. That is exactly what we are about to share with you today – the Intersog experience in facing and defusing challenging situations throughout the software development life cycle.

Volatile Requirements

Unclear or constantly changing requirements are one of the main issues many projects stumble upon. Here, it is important to admit that in most cases, this problem lies with the client – sometimes you are just not sure what the final product is going to be like. In some cases, the reason behind such uncertainty is the volatile market. If you work in a rapidly changing and growing market, your business objectives might shift dramatically over a short period of time. Let’s say you want to develop a video game, you work on it hard and at some point, you are ready to present your alpha version of the game to the tester team. Soon, you find out that testers have tons of criticism for the game – the character design is outdated, the levels are designed poorly, the game lacks popular mechanics, and so on. As harsh as it might be, the game needs some serious reworking. This would change your requirements dramatically and push you to find new solutions fast.

Solution – the Intersog Experience

Talking about the video gaming industry, we’ve had the experience of helping our partners out in a similar situation several years back. Travian Games, a German game developer, had several abrupt changes in the requirements and the scope of their project, and they needed to hire new developers fast. Namely, they needed several PHP developers to augment their team, and despite all efforts, they could not find the right people in Munich. As they could not afford much delay, they decided to hire a team of PHP developers here at Intersog. A quick decision not to get stuck with the local talent pool turned out to be the best one.

The agility of the team is the key to meeting the newly emerging requirements and addressing the challenges posed by these changes fast and without losing the tempo. Of course, the best solution here is to have a clearly defined scope of the project from the start, but it is rarely possible in the fast-evolving markets. The agile approach, thus, is the best way to face the challenge and get out of the sticky situation fast and at a low cost to the project.

Fierce Competition

If you’ve just had a brilliant idea, chances are, somebody else has already thought of it, and that somebody might be your direct competitor. That is where you get in a tight spot where you need to capitalize on your great ideas before your competitors do. Also, you need to think of ways to make your ideas work better and bring you more money. Unfortunately, this creates a heap of new challenges that can hinder your ability to achieve the desired results. Competition makes the companies stiff, it creates more pressure on the developers and forces the companies to be really cautious.

Solution – Don’t Rush

Well, you should only take reasonable risks; there’s no need to put your company in an unfavorable position just for the sake of choosing an unconventional approach. What you need to do is to reduce the pressure on your team and flush away all the negative factors that might impact your project adversely. Think about it – what makes you and your project unique? There has to be something, and you have to emphasize that uniqueness and keep your face. 

Yes, there’s always a bigger fish out there, but it is not always the biggest fish who wins the race. Be reasonable and do not go overhead with your ambitions. Take reasonable risks, let your development team do their job, involve offshore talents to bring some fresh ideas to the table, and keep on doing a great job. Outsourced developers are not just a source of good ideas, they are also extremely efficient in terms of cost and recruitment speed. You can hire dedicated teams of developers to save money and time, and beat your competitors to market even before the product launch. Make sure your product is not just unique but also the best on the market. Hire quality assurance experts to truly polish your product, and release it only when you are 100% sure of its readiness. That is how you achieve a perfect state of the product and outdo your competitors.

Constant Technological Progress

Whether you are a tech enthusiast or not, you cannot deny the fact that technologies develop at a supersonic speed these days. Go on vacation for a couple of weeks and stop reading the news, and all of a sudden, you’ve missed some important developments. Of course, not all of those would directly impact your business and your project, but you have to be ready for the changes at any given time. Many developers consider this to be the most exciting yet the most challenging part of their job. The innovations break the monotony and constantly push the developers forward, but they also keep the learning curve at its peak, so many people would feel like they never truly master their craft. 

Solution – Work with Flexible Teams

Having to update your skills every now and then is challenging and even stressful. Once you feel like you have a solid team of experts who’ve truly perfected their skills and overcame the challenges in software development technology, new tech comes around forcing them to learn new stuff. The solution here is to involve experts from the outside to augment your team and help your in-house developers learn faster. Luckily, you can hire people from the global talent pool easily thanks to outsourcing. Basically, what you need to do is reach out to the software development experts from the outside and hire them to keep your project going with all the innovative technologies considered. Intersog is a software company that can help you with that. We’ve been leveraging the most relevant technologies to keep our clients on the spearhead of innovation for over 15 years, and we surely can give you the right people to strengthen your team and flatten the learning curve a bit for you.

Even if your own team consists of real experts who can learn fast and are able to grasp the new tech in a timely manner, it still is challenging for software developers to keep the project going without interruptions when the change comes. It is impossible for even the best and most skilled developers to keep an eye on all the innovations, especially if they are actively engaged in the project. That is where hiring experts from the global talent pool would come in handy giving you the opportunity to keep on pushing forward. 

Quality Testing and Bug Fixing

Software development is not just about coding, it also involves numerous supplementary stages such as gathering requirements, designing, and most importantly, testing. Quality assurance is an essential part of developing any kind of software since you cannot launch a raw untested product to market and hope for everything to go smoothly. Human error is always possible, and that is one of the main quality challenges in software development that makes QA an essential step in the overall process. Another problem comes from the very nature of complex and iterative projects that go through numerous phases and undergo several changes throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC). There’s no other way to look at it – you need quality testing to make sure your software runs smoothly, there are no bugs, it corresponds to your vision, and that no issues would come out later just for you to find out that your product needs some serious fixing.

Solution – Invest in Quality Assurance

Though it might sound obvious, you better be safe than sorry. To eliminate all the errors and fix all the bugs in a timely manner, you need a team of QA experts who would test your project throughout the SDLC. Here at Intersog, we emphasize the importance of testing the software on a regular basis throughout the development cycle, preferably, at the end of each sprint. That way, we can eliminate small errors on the go without leaving them the chance to snowball into a huge disaster. That is the best approach to dealing with the quality concerns as it is much easier to deal with smaller issues one by one than to dig through a whole bunch of problems in one go. If you do not have a QA team with relevant skills on the spot, the best idea is to outsource this part of your SDLC and have a team of experts doing the job for you. 

Time Estimation

Knowing how long it would take for the team to take the project from the ideation stage and to the market launch is crucial for your business planning. Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to get a precise timeline for the project from the very beginning, which is one of the main challenges in agile software development. The very nature of agile is that the requirements and the scope of the project might change at any given moment, which is not ideal for business planning. 

Knowing how much time it would take to develop your software is feasible when there are clear requirements for the project, that way the developers can tell you how long it would take for them to fulfill all of those requirements and launch the product; otherwise, any estimations would be flimsy. Having the controlled deadlines for the project is a good thing but if you work in a dynamic market with developing technologies such as AI or IoT, you can never tell what might change along the way and where all of your estimations might go obsolete.

Solution – Choose the Right Approach

The best way to estimate the timeline for your software development project is to pick the right management approach. Let’s say you are working in a stable market that does not fluctuate much over time. In that case, you can go with a Waterfall approach, and with that, you can make nearly perfect estimations regarding the development timeline. The Waterfall model follows a linear path where different development stages are performed one after another, and that approach allows you to estimate how long each stage of the SDLC would take.

Alternatively, when you go with the Agile approach and most sub-methodologies like Extreme Programming, making precise estimations becomes much harder as these methodologies follow an iterative approach in which you can return to a single milestone over and over as many times as you need. Basically, you might be working on a single feature for months, which is not ideal for planning an exact timeline.

What you can do to solve that problem is to make your requirements more or less concrete. Yes, you cannot be sure of all the possible changes along the way, but you can at least have a precise action plan for whatever you’ve got on your hands right now. That is how your development team might be able to estimate the amount of work and time needed to achieve those requirements. Whenever the new requirements arrive, your team would be able to change and adapt the timeline to meet the new requirements.

Ignoring the Best Development Practices

That is one of the most enduring software development problems – people staying in their comfort zone and not taking their chances with the new and arguably better practices. This issue has been around for decades and it has already robbed countless businesses of their success. In 2021, one of the best development practices is to move away from in-house recruitment and to switch to outsourcing. Does it really matter where your team is at in times when everybody is working from home anyway? Outsourcing has been big for years now, and it has gotten huge in times of pandemic, and its prevalent role is unlikely to diminish in the near future. 

Solution – Outsourcing is the Key

Delegating your project to the outsourced developers is one of the best development practices for when you need to save money, time, and get yourself a fully equipped development team in a matter of weeks. At Intersog, we offer our clients a vast talent pool of 250+ developers who can deliver tangible results and measurable success on almost any type of project. With such services, you can save both time and money and boost up the efficiency of your enterprise by introducing new talents from a global talent pool. Of course, there are some problems of outsourcing software development, and you should consider all of its pros and cons when making your final decision but it really is a rather efficient strategy that can help you on your digital transformation journey. The use of the best development practices also implies choosing a relevant project management approach and the latest tech stack, and all of that can also be guaranteed by the professional team of dedicated software developers.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a new software development project is never easy and you must consider a wide variety of challenges on your way as well as the possible threats that might put your entire project at risk. Luckily, most of these problems can be mitigated by the professional team of developers who can take your project from the point of ideation, through all the stages of the software development life cycle and up to the final product and market launch. Regardless of what kind of challenge you face on your way, all of them can be dealt with if you have a reliable team of developers at your side. Intersog offers you exactly that – a team of professional developers ready to get your project up and running at any point.

IT and talent solutions
Intersog is a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has provided agile software engineering and staffing services for Fortune 500 corporations, tech startups, and SaaS businesses for over fifteen years. Why Intersog.