Software engineering is a career often viewed as some sort of black magic and many myths. While some software myths have been debunked, new ones keep cropping up by the day. Unfortunately, most misconceptions are propagated by people who don't have the tiniest understanding of programming. As software development becomes an integral part of human life amid the digital revolution, it is vital to demystify the myths in the burgeoning sector.
What is software development?
The software development process uses principles and techniques mastered in computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis. Simply put, it is designing, creating, and maintaining applications that perform different functions. The ultimate goal is to manage and develop efficient, reliable, easy-to-use programs effectively.
Myth 1: The more software developers, the better
One of the biggest myths is that the software development process is complex and cannot be handled by one person. Consequently, many people and brands believe hiring many developers will enhance workflow.
Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. While adding more people makes sharing ideas and addressing stalemates easy, it can also be detrimental and make communication time-consuming.
Adding more people gives you more hands but may prolong the development process when you have to gather dissenting views on what and how things need to be done. Sometimes, a small project requiring only one hand on deck may take a week for you and the developers to agree on a bit of code and a proper approach. Simply put - value your communication time, similar to how developers value their work hours.
Myth 2: There is always a magic formula
There is no magic formula to developing software, let alone one solution for all. Each underlying problem that a program needs to solve will always be different. Therefore, the software development life cycle phases will always differ.
Each project will always have its unique requirements and process to be carried out. The development path is rarely linear unless a project is simple. The implemented code will always be different to address the underlying issue.
Myth 3: In-house developers are better than outsourcing
Another common software engineering myth is that in-house developers are better than those in remote locations. This is far from the truth, given that outsourcing makes it easy to access a skill unavailable with in-house developers. Whenever the in-house team cannot solve a given problem, the best way is to engage the services of developers in remote locations to keep the project on track.
Developers working remotely could be similar to hardworking professionals and improve the results of your in-house team. Here in TigerTeamX, we use a similar mixed approach of having an in-house core team and adding consultants and gig remote workers when it's needed.
Still, our experience shows that it's better yet to work with consultants you make a stable relationship with because hiring just a random person for a single day can still possess more risk than benefits. Overall in-house development vs. remote/gig/outsourcing approaches have it's own pros and cons:
- Stability, as you know who you work with and what results to expect
- Priority. You're Always a "top client" for in-house specialists while remote consultants may prioritize your project lower, depending on multiple factors.
- Building culture - you develop the long-term work environment that helps you and your team grow.
Cons of in-house
- Pretty hard to scale up that fast as if you hire more side specialists for specific tasks
- Building a culture is great, but it takes more time and effort.
We hope now it's much easier for you to evaluate the risks and advantages of both. Well, what is our next myth?
Myth 4: Developer must have a computer science degree
Guess how many devs actually have a computer science degree? Well, the entry point occurs to be much lower than you think. According to Statista, in 2022, levels of formal education for software developers worldwide show that only 41.32% of developers actually had Bachelor's degrees. and only 21.14% had a Master's.
and if we zoom in to Computer Science degrees, then, according to Stack Overflow Developer Survey - over 62% of developers with a degree have a degree in CS.
It is not a must for a developer to have a computer science degree to engage in software development. Anyone can learn and master the various programming methodologies while watching videos online and reading tutorials. In addition, many online courses and online communities teach people the base art of creating a program.
It is much easier to secure a software development job if you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing some of the projects done. In a sector where skills and expertise are crucial, experience is the only thing that matters in software development and not a university degree.
Does it all mean that you can get into making your software without proper education? Absolutely not. But it's pretty obvious that a degree here weighs much less than your effort and learning ability.
Myth 5: Real programmers use C or C++
So ask yourself, what are you building? Web app, mobile app, informational resource or in-house solution for your company? Then you easily understand what you should build your software on.
Myth 6: A project is over once software is released
Do you think the software development life cycle's phases end with a product release? You got tricked by one more myth! There is always an ongoing process in development that entails upgrades and updates to ensure the software is effective and efficient in what it is supposed to do. As soon as the software is released, it shifts towards taking user feedback and incorporating it to enhance its use and capabilities.
Also, today's software requires more updates in general. Why? Developers often use many abstraction layers, such as libraries or frameworks, requiring more updates as a result. If you choose to use fewer of the exotic libraries, you can get better upgrades as you don't rely on so many of them. In TigerTeamX, we are working heavily to simplify and make our software maintenance simple, efficient, straightforward, and cheap.
Myth 8: Quality assurance is not essential
Contrary to perception, quality assurance is essential to the software development process. The reality is that testing software to ensure it is working as expected is important. Quality assurance helps ensure that software operates at the desired level before its release into the market. In addition, quality assurance provides the final product without any bugs.
Myth 9: You can resolve every bug before the product's release
Every product has its lifecycle. While dynamics are constantly changing, it is impossible to fix every bug at a glance, but much easier to avoid them during the initial development process.
Of course, every software requires upstarts and robust maintenance from time to time to sift any bugs and ensure it is running as expected. But if you're keeping up to your initial goals during the software development - you can speed up the process and avoid multiple bugs by focusing on getting things done the proper way. You can read more about how we do it in TigerTeamX, utilizing military management methodology in software development. However, keep in mind - it is only possible to resolve bugs that occur after the actual product release.
Software development myths have always been there, causing confusion among growing specialists in the burgeoning sector. While new ones are cropping up by the day, contact software development experts at TigerTeamX to quench any fears or queries you might have.