Creating software and testing it is a process that calls for both speed and finesse—especially if you’re in the commercial sector. The time it takes you to complete the actual software development process matters, as it will directly affect the testing period and launch date. Everyone wants to code fast and test faster, but that often results in shortcuts and cut corners that could potentially backfire when the software actually runs.
To avoid that, here are four practices that might help you develop software faster without actually compromising the quality.
In terms of designing external facing API and object API, prioritize simplicity. Python Developer and author of IronPython in Action for Manning Publications, Michael Foord puts it this way: “simple things should be simple; complex things should be possible.”
Work on the simple case first, and keep it as straightforward as possible. Minimize configuration or parameterization until the base code is finished. Once completed, then you can start adding options or additional API methods as needed for more complex cases. Just remember to always start with what’s simple.
Prioritize User Experience When Testing
When testing software, always focus on the overall user experience. As a software developer, it can be quite easy to get lost in the complexities and nuances of testing software. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in checking the infrastructure, frameworks, libraries, parameters, or helper functions, we forget that the software is, inevitably, for the user.
Hence, it’s better to test software with the user experience in mind rather than a bunch of technical factors that consumers might not even notice.
Approaching the software from a user’s perspective will help you see more clearly what needs to be changed, removed, or added on to the software in order to deliver a better end product to the people who matter.
Focus on Functionality Before Speed
If you want to develop software faster, don’t prioritize speed. Prioritize corrections and clean code before writing additional code to speed up the software, and only if absolutely necessary.
When testing software, most developers fix the code line by line, section by section, thinking they’re addressing the overall bottleneck. It’s better—and quicker—to profile performance issues first. That way, you’re fixing what actually needs to be fixed and ignoring what isn’t broken.
Once you remove the obstructions, it’s highly possible that your code will run faster without you having to add a timing code. Always remember that timing code changes the performance characteristics of the main code, which is why you should only add it when absolutely necessary.
Keep Code Clean
Most software developers tend to over-write code, in the sense that they write more code than is strictly necessary. Oftentimes they write the excess code down because they think they’re going need it for future cases. What does end up happening, however, is that the extra code is eventually rendered dead or faulty because the future case always turns out different from what the developer expected.
This is in line with our first point, “don’t overcomplicate.” The more code you have to review, the longer it’s going to take for you to finish testing it and the more maintenance it’s going to need. If you can write less code without compromising functionality, write less code. If there are lines you can delete without damaging the body, delete those lines. Simple but effective software development is the key to efficiency.