High-quality software development: is it worth the cost?

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The founders of new digital products are mostly not technical people, so they may not fully understand what quality of the software means, why it is crucial for the product’s success, and why it may take so much time to deliver or cost money.

Let's talk about the difference between good and bad development, all the benefits you get if you care about quality from the very beginning, and how it saves you time and money in the long run.

Quality code = quality product?

It's quite difficult to make sure that quality code means quality product, and the main task of code is to perform the task as quickly as possible.

At first glance, you can be sure that the code is well written, well formatted. But it doesn't mean the quality of the product.

Quality development is more than just the code, it’s a more complex approach with a lot of different rules that every team member has to follow during the development process.

Writing documentation, not only code

Developers don’t just write code, they also write documentation: of functionality, of deployment and development process.

Documenting the code simplifies understanding, and helps new people to easier understand the project and start working with it. If there’s no documentation, it is really hard and time-consuming to study all the features and understand which parts are related to each other.

Testing is very important

There are a lot of stages and a lot of different tests. One of the most important parts of automated testing is unit tests that are written by programmers during the development phase.

They are needed for testing small pieces of code, some utility service and for making sure everything works as expected. There are also a lot of other approaches - for example, integration or UI tests.

When the new feature appears on the test environment, you can run integration tests to make sure the complex system is still working.

For example, to check if the user can log in, if the connection to the database is working or the requests from site or if mobile application is still working.

There are also UI tests that are written by QA engineers. They test the front-end, which is the piece that the user will interact with.

And there is also manual testing, the one that is performed by QA engineers manually.

Testing is a crucial and integral part of the quality development process, and it can’t be excluded or done by a non-professional, as there may be billions of lines of code written by different engineers with many dependencies in the system.

If you want to save time and money on quality assurance, you have to start to do this as soon as possible.

Usually there is a senior developer that is responsible for code verification. He checks the code for possible failures and can propose a better solution, or help with algorithms, optimization and solving some difficult problems.

But there are also stages that a new feature must pass, like manual testing. After you release it, you have to make sure that the entire system is still working.

We use the CI/CD process for this, which is an automated process that runs all the tests, and deploys everything you need. You don't have to do this manually. That's why this process becomes much cheaper and faster.

The risk of a technical dept

Sometimes, founders of new digital products are ready to lose some quality on the MVP in order to deliver it as fast as possible and as cheap as possible. But MVP is actually the basis of the project development.

And if you do something wrong from the beginning, it will definitely come out sideways. Bad architecture, poor written code and lack of documentation in the beginning might lead to technical debt in the future. And the project becomes much more expensive.

So, the quality of the product is not just about pure code, even though it is important as well. It is also about appropriate documentation, testing and processes, which all take time in the beginning.

But in the future, it makes further development easier, faster and less expensive. And instead of making a team rework something, you can just improve your code every time, so members of your team can use their time and energy on bigger issues.

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