Four Common Mistakes That Startup Software Developers Make

It’s no surprise that the software development industry is booming. The quick acceleration of technology has paved the way for new software services, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. In fact, by 2017, the software industry had already seen massive growth across all 50 states, even during a time when the United States economy was experiencing a slowdown. It’s no wonder that developers are getting the recognition and opportunity they deserve in a world that’s powered by technology.

Startups are particularly vulnerable in the world of software development. They’re tasked with creating a solution to a problem from scratch, and are therefore inherently fragile in their ventures. Therefore, even with the rise of startup culture and the booming job market for developers, there are still various ways that you can better your skills and make it easier to leverage what you have to offer. Understanding some of the more common mistakes, and learning from others, will help you avoid making them yourself. Here’s what you need to know:

Ignoring DevOps

The DevOps philosophy has become synonymous with the startup world. DevOps combines the development and operations teams to create a cohesive in-house unit and build based on agile methodologies. The goal of DevOps is to shorten the development lifecycle, deploy applications quicker, automate tasks, increase security, and gain valuable feedback much quicker.

This type of cross-skilling helps improve internal organization and communication, ultimately creating better products and strong work cultures. The traditional, siloed approach to software development can often create isolation within an organization. Fortunately, there are many different DevOps tools from platforms like JFrog that make it easy to manage a project founded on DevOps principles.

Creating Too Many Features

Feature creep is a software technology term that describes a time period in production when development teams are burdened with too many feature requests (whether from stakeholders or in-house), creating a backlog of too many half-done features instead of a select, well-coded few. Feature creep can happen to businesses of any size, but are particularly prone to startup organizations who have big visions that aren’t necessarily scalable.

It’s not uncommon for developers to try to cram as many features as they can into a product and appeal to a wide variety of users. However, new software should be intuitive and easy to learn. When there are too many bells and whistles involved, it becomes much more difficult to perfect. To keep the learning curve low, focus on the problem and solution, and do your best to hone in on the minimum viable product. After you feel confident in what you’ve built, you can then start to incorporate additional features.

Choosing the Wrong Development Team

As the old saying goes, your business is only as good as the people who power it. When you’re searching for other developers to join your team, it’s crucial that you look beyond the CV. Every engineer works with technologies of their own preference, and a common mistake among startup organizations is hiring coding “ninjas” who are rigid in their preference. These “ninjas” may be very experienced within a narrow set of tech, and it can make it difficult for them to switch to other types of technology or adopt something new.

Furthermore, they might be more interested in their own self-development than they are in ensuring the success of the startup. Throughout the hiring process, be sure you’re asking questions that help discern the difference between a developer that wants to grow with you and one that wants to add to their resume. It helps to look for developers who have specific experience working with other startup companies.


Building Inflexible Code

By now, you understand that there are many ways to code the same programming task. Knowing which way to go can often mean the difference between code that is rigid or flexible, or maintenance-friendly and or unmaintainable. It’s important for you to create flexible code that can scale with you as the business grows. While it might seem easier and quicker with some alternatives, you’ll regret this later down the line when you’re forced to start from scratch because your current code no longer supports your programming infrastructure. For instance, by using coding standards, you can move from application to application with much greater ease.

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