Managing bugs is a crucial part of the software development process. No matter how skilled software developers are, there will always be bugs that stop things from working as they should, and this has a huge impact on the user experience when the final product is released.
Users are not very forgiving when it comes to bugs and if you release a piece of software that doesn’t function as it should, you will be plagued with negative reviews and it is hard to rebuild your reputation. Although releasing patches to fix bugs can alleviate the problem, it’s vital that you eliminate them before release, as far as possible. These are some of the best ways to prevent bugs during the software development process.
Keep Code As Simple As Possible
Keeping your code as simple as possible is a great way to reduce the number of bugs. Code that isn’t clean and easy to understand tends to be buggy, mainly because it’s difficult for programmers to know exactly what they’re coding at all times. It can also lead them down a rabbit hole where they will spend hours debugging something that could have been fixed in a few minutes if they had just taken a step back and looked at the problem from another perspective.
Even experienced programmers need to keep their code simple, as there are always new programmers coming into projects who don’t have any context about the functionality behind certain elements of the project. Every piece of code should perform the desired function and nothing else. When you start writing bloated code, you increase the chances of bugs and make them harder to identify and fix.
Improve Organization In Your Team
When working on a project, you always have other people involved to some degree. These are usually quality assurance testers or graphic designers who will need to take part in the coding process to make sure that their area of expertise is incorporated into the final product.
When everyone works together on one project it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on and reduce bugs at the same time. This is why organization within your team is vital for reducing bugs during software development. You should all know where everything is kept, who’s responsible for certain areas of code, etc, so that there are no problems when an update needs to take place or something doesn’t function as it should.
Managing a large team can be challenging, especially if people are working remotely, but it’s vital that you keep workflows organized. Using project management tools and maintaining good communication will be a huge help.
Set Realistic Deadlines
When you’re trying to reduce bugs during the software development process it’s important that your team doesn’t bite off more than they can chew. If there are too many people working on too many projects at once, or if things start taking longer than expected, then you will never be able to release bug-free products.
Another mistake that companies make is focusing too much on quantity and not quality. Yes, deadlines are important but only if the end product is right. Focusing too much attention on getting as many applications out as possible will hurt the final version of the app since most likely some aspects of it won’t be finished before launch day. Make sure you keep your focus on meeting deadlines whilst still maintaining high standards. If you start rushing things, the quality will inevitably drop and things will be missed, leading to more bugs in the final product.
Don’t Ignore Compiler Warnings
Sometimes compiler warnings are viewed as less important because the code works anyway. This is a huge mistake. Ignore them at your own peril! Compiler warnings are usually present for a reason and it’s vital you fix all of them before release, no matter how small they may seem.
Not only do they indicate an issue with your program but they can be used to help programmers understand the code better and find more bugs than they previously would have been able to. You should always set up your compiler so that it will give you errors and warning messages when any unaddressed issues arise within the code.
Test Your Code Regularly
Testing your code is always important but it’s vital when you’re trying to reduce bugs during software development. This should be done by both programmers and quality assurance testers.
When developers leave testing until the end of the project they run into problems. For one, there are just too many bugs that need fixing after you’ve finished coding which can result in many wasted hours. Most importantly though, if testing isn’t taken seriously it will only take one bug to find its way into production for users to start complaining about it on social media or on your website.
Testing individual pieces of code on a regular basis throughout the project will help you put out fires as they come up instead of trying to sort through everything and identify bugs when the project is completed. You should also use test automation tools, to test your applications before release. These tools can test the software from the perspective of an end user, so you get a real-life insight into how the software works as a whole. Any problems will be picked up and laid out in a simple report, so you can go through and rectify them before release.
Keep Up With Post-Release Maintenance
If you follow all of these steps, you can reduce bugs as much as possible. However, there is always the potential for bugs to be missed or certain pieces of code that are not as efficient as they could be. That’s why it’s crucial to keep up with post-release maintenance. Monitoring software and releasing patches to fix bugs and improve performance will ensure that your users always have the best possible experience with your software.
Bugs can be make or break for software developers, but you can stop them from being a problem if you follow these rules.