April 27, 2016
Software development and app production have an interesting, symbiotic relationship. But with the increasing popularity between the user demand for apps and the level of software development required to create them, the question being raised is a simple one – is the quality of software development decreasing because of software demand?
In the blog post “Have Software Developers Given Up?”, software developer Danny Tuppeny explores this “quality problem” that the industry seems to have. He writes:
“Over the last few years it feels like the quality of software and services across the industry is falling rather than climbing. Everything is always beta (both in name and quality). Things are shipped when marketing wants them to rather than when they’re ready because ‘we can easily patch them’. End users have basically become testers, but it’s ok, because this is Agile. We’ve started coding to expect failure and somehow with it decided that failure is normal and expected and we don’t need to put so much effort into avoiding it. Supporting millions of customers is complicated so we don’t bother. Why waste time reading bug reports from users when you can just send them into an endless maze of help links with no contact information?”
Truly, the lack of nuance in software development has become an issue, especially as we rely more on technology for our daily tasks. It’s becoming a widespread issue, as even popular websites aren’t immune from being vulnerable to bad software development.
So, why are these issues happening? Well, part of it comes from expectations. With the pressure to keep up with product demand in tech, developers are unfortunately struggling to keep up. In the end, that makes up for really bad application practice – the emphasis is placed on keeping up with the output rather than producing quality work. Software development, like any other tech skill, requires more nuance than is being dedicated currently to the cause.
Tuppeny also writes:
“I can’t help but feel that as an industry we’re just not doing our best for our users. Even companies that have previously been known for exceptional quality and testing seem to have gone down the shitter. I’m no stranger to commercial pressures causing things to be shipped before they’re done, but surely there’s room for improvement?
Or maybe it’s the end users fault? Maybe we don’t complain enough when things are bad, so companies have little motivation to improve?”
What does the relationship between software development and product demand play in how quality software development is created? Or are the two as closely related as we think? The truth is, the answers to these questions require us to have a heavier examination of the tech culture climate of which all of these elements exist.
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