Software Engineering: Myths & Misconceptions

Instructor: Meghalee Goswami

Meghalee has a masters of computer science and communication engineering.

This lesson describes several software engineering myths and misconceptions. It also mentions some common blunders that result in the failure of a software development project. It provides some strategies for overcoming these blunders and myths.

Software Engineering: Myths and Misconceptions

For every software development, a well-defined set of steps need to be followed for an efficient delivery of the product. These steps collectively form a part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Sometimes even after following all the steps cautiously, there are some common blunders committed by product owners and managers which affect the launch of the software resulting in an overall delay of the launch. In this lesson, we will discuss some of the common myths and mistakes associated with software engineering, planning, and launching.

Figure 1: Steps in SDLC

Common Blunders and the Strategies Used to Avoid and Overcome Them

  • Resource Utilization

In realms of software production, one of the major things to be considered is the allocation of resources. In order to build a software successfully, what you need at a very granular level is a programmer. Aside from this, you need some people who will be in charge of making all the programmers work together. A common blunder is when product owners allocated a huge number of people to a software without analyzing what skill level/knowledge base is necessary for the successful deployment of the product. Sometimes a team of 10 members with the specific knowledge base and skills can do wonders. On the contrary, a team of 100 might not succeed. Sometimes we fail to understand that quality is better than quantity. This is the reason why it is very important for project managers to spend a lot of time in communication, requirement gathering, feasibility study, and system analysis. These are the first 4 steps of the SDLC as shown in Figure 1. So, a good strategy to overcome this problem would be to understand resource allocation demands of a project.

  • Outsourcing in Bulk

Outsourcing might be a very common approach to spending less and getting more in return. Most companies outsource their software production, testing, and development to third party vendors. This is done to cut the time and cost incurred by the parent company. Most companies run off of the outsourcing industry but these are the companies that have a really strict quality assurance team, dedicated to the credibility of the projects delivered by the outsourcing companies. These include ensuring user experience, bug testing, negative testing and unit testing. So at this point, we can conclude that outsourcing may be an option but outsourcing blindly and in bulk might lead to a compromise in the quality.

  • Latest Technologies Are Not Always the Best Ones

Evolution of technology is a blessing to all of us, but sometimes we need to realize that not all tools out there are suited for the purpose. So, another important phase of system design and analysis would be to understand which technology is best suited for the software. If this analysis is not done correctly then the consequent phases succumb to the unstable foundation.

  • Vigorous Testing

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