The key to being a successful software developer is delivering a quality product to your client in a timely manner. It can’t be either-or, you have to do both. It’s all well and good creating an amazing piece of software, but you are constantly pushing back deadlines, your client isn’t going to be happy. Equally, you might be able to meet the deadline but if you make compromises and deliver a product that isn’t up to scratch, the client won’t be impressed. That’s why efficiency during the software development process is so vital. It’s the only way that you will be able to deliver a quality product on time, every time. If you are having problems with your development process, these are some of the best ways to make it more efficient.
Define Clear Standards
All developers have their own way of working, and that’s fine. However, it’s important that you define clear standards across the board. If you have different people working on different pieces of code, and they are each using their own formatting and programming styles, you will run into problems when you start knitting it all together to produce the finished piece of software. You don’t want your code to look like a patchwork quilt, so it’s important that you establish and define clear standards from the outset. If you don’t, you will find that you are rewriting large sections of code all the time, and that is going to slow things down.
Implement RAID Systems
A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a good way to improve performance and protect your data in the event of a crash. Data is split amongst multiple hard drives, rather than being stored on one localized drive. You can use a RAID usable capacity calculator to determine how many drives you will need to store all of your data. When using a RAID storage system, applications load faster because run processes can be overlapped. It also protects you in the event of a crash because your data is duplicated on other drives, so you will not lose it. If you store everything on one localized hard drive and it fails, you may be forced to start again from scratch, so it’s important that you protect yourself.
Reduce Work In Progress
You should already have a workflow in place, but have you considered the amount of work in progress at each stage? If you do not limit it, you will end up with lots of tasks that are almost complete, and that means you will not see any steps finished until you are nearing the end of the project. It’s important that you run constant tests during the development process and that is a lot harder to do if your work in progress levels are high. A lot of people assume that multitasking makes you more efficient but it actually has the opposite effect. If you limit your work in progress tasks and complete each stage of your workflow before moving forward, you can identify any issues and rectify them right away. Otherwise, issues will not become apparent until you are nearing the end of the project and you will end up backtracking to fix them.
If you make these 3 simple changes to your software development process, you should see a big increase in productivity.
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Walter Guevara is a Computer Scientist, software engineer, startup founder and currently mentors for a coding bootcamp. He has been creating software for the past 15 years.