One of the first agile methodologies, XP or Extreme Programming, was introduced by Kent Beck back in the late 90s. It describes software development as the progression of ideas from broad and abstract to concrete and formed. While software design and development may seem simple in concept, it’s actually quite complex in technique and implementation.
Getting to that perfect end-user state not only requires excellent coding and development skills, but also a lot of conceptual thinking, planning, and most importantly testing.
There are four basic rules of software design in its simple form. The software must:
1. Pass the test. As we’ve mentioned above and in other blog posts, testing is the key priority with any software development process. It’s imperative for both our team and a select group of our client’s team to test the software through every possible scenario – recording any possible errors and allowing ample time to update as needed.
Many times, the best testing comes from those completely unfamiliar with the project. They’ll give you the best use case and come up with new and creative ways to break the software. Just kidding, but you’d be surprised how even the best-planned user layouts can differ in concept between individual minds.
2. Reveal intention. In its simplest form, this means the software design should be easy to understand. This is true from all angles – users should be able to navigate the layout with understanding, internal staff should be able to troubleshoot as needed, and the development team should be able to update or modify the code quickly given its clean, well-written format.
3. Have no duplication.There is a key theory in software development that involves staying DRY! DRY standing for “don’t repeat yourself”. This is a key principle that avoids repetition of software patterns and multiple copies of the same data.
Not only does this practice help speed up the initial development and allow for clean, well-written code but similarly helps should a bug or issue arise in the future. When applied successfully, DRY principles should allow for a simple modification of an element to not require changes in other logically unrelated elements or shouldn’t produce another error in an unintended space.
The opposite of DRY is WET. At LTC, we avoid getting WET – also known as Writing Everything Twice or We Enjoy Typing. It saves us time, and it saves you money.
4. Have the fewest elements possible. The final rule. Remove anything that doesn’t serve to function for the previous three rules.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
While we can work within a current software solution or tailor-make an application to bridge workflows, our specialty is in custom software development. Throughout the entire software development process, we take your rough draft concept and work alongside you to validate your concept, set expectations, avoid unplanned bottlenecks and costs, and plan to not only fit your business timeline but also your budget.
Regardless of the type of custom software development you’re interested in, you can count on our team to deliver a fast, friendly, and affordable solution. Ready to learn more? We’d be happy to provide a free, no-pressure consultation!