Common Myths about Software Development

The new and unknown have always been surrounded by flawed experiences. The field of software development is no different. Some rise up out of customer stories, some come from the quirks of being in a new field, and some–well, some just seem to pop up out of thin air. From the developer working on the project to the end user, everyone has a pet myth. Here are a collection of the most common software development myths, from the amusing to the frustrating.

Magic bullets exist in the form of “insert new thing here”. New trends, new ideas, new team members–new is exciting, different and fun! Until things start falling apart and a new solution is needed to fix the new problem. And the cycle continues. This myth can carry to both the customer and the developer and be equally damaging to both.  Approach new ideas with caution and careful consideration instead of looking for a magic cure.

Software is easy to change–within reason. Please, don’t tell developers this. It could mean over a thousand different applications, processes, and systems are all being tagged with the same label. That can’t be done accurately. Changes can and are made all the time; this doesn’t mean that your changes will be easy and quick. Honest questions and communication are essential in this situation.

The more developers, the quicker things will be done. What makes this myth so ubiquitous is that sometimes, it can be true. It depends on the project. But no matter how hard nine women try, they can not have a baby in a month! Likewise, some projects cannot be hurried, no matter how many developers you throw at them. Again communication and clear but flexible expectations are a must to keep everything flowing smoothly.

People will automatically know how to use software applications. No, they will not. They will have to be taught, no matter how intuitive the interface looked to you or to a developer. The level of teaching will vary, but it will have to be done. This is particularly true for custom made applications, which may not come with pre-made manuals or extensive former use by people. With a little time and patience, everyone will get up to speed.

Customers don’t know what they want. Sometimes, this myth is true. This is why a discovery process is used in the very beginning, regardless if the solution offered is custom made or off the shelf. It helps both customer and developer understand in the other person’s terms what is wanted and needed. The importance of this step cannot be underestimated as it is foundational to the developer/customer relationship.  Make sure you both are speaking the same language before falling into this assumption!

Custom work is far too time consuming and/or expensive for us. We’ve covered the off-the-shelf vs. custom solution here before, as there is much to be said on both sides. The short answer is that a custom solution may look more expensive, but many more of the costs are presented up front. This is not always the case with off-the-shelf software, where costs are ongoing and may increase out of proportion to your scale. The same holds true for the time cost.

Outsourcing work means sacrificing quality. This is simply not true. As with the myth that changes are easy and quick, this star among software development myths applies a label to the entirety of outsourced options. The key to outsourcing is to research, communicate, and value quality above price point. The range of options available means that there is no reason to settle for anything that you don’t want to settle on, unlike off the shelf options. With the right choice, outsourcing can be one of the best decisions a customer can make.  

Here at Swan Software Solutions, we have run into these software development myths on the developer, customer and user sides of the experience. Because of our spin on outsourcing software development, we are positioned to understand and communicate across all three areas. With over thirteen years of experience in satisfying customers and creating solutions, we are confident in our ability to create the solution you deserve. If you are interested in learning more, we’d love to talk! Contact us today and start your journey to solutions.

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