Best Practices

Top Frustrations of Software Engineers: Legacy Code

The following is the fourth of a five part series excerpted from our whitepaper Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers. Read the first part here

Those who develop software using an iterative process understand the importance of stakeholders providing useful information in a timely fashion throughout the product delivery cycle. But far too often you’re left to blindly guess how new releases should interact with legacy code.

Even in a perfect world, developing iterations that play nicely with legacy code can be a lot like fitting a square peg into a round hole. With no legacy documentation to use as a frame of reference, trying to predict how a broken interaction between an iteration and legacy code might cause a far-reaching ripple effect turns what should be simple releases into exercises in frustration.

To software engineers, unpredictability is a four-letter word. Any legacy code component that lacks clearly articulated documentation regarding the ways in which it must sync with new iterations forces trial-by-error bug discovery via building, testing and rebuilding—not the ideal recipe for expediting quality product releases.

Simply stated, you need to know how the legacy code works and what specific features it enables before you begin a new iteration.

Unfortunately when you’re embroiled in a flawed product delivery process, your suggestion to
 fix it by implementing a new system of more effective collaboration will likely be viewed as overly simplistic, if not completely unrealistic.

There’s just too much pressure to accelerate product delivery for you to invest the time required to tackle fundamental process improvements.

However, quickening the pace of product delivery without the proper system of documentation 
and collaborative decision-making breeds an environment in which innovation becomes elusive.

All of which highlights the need for an organization’s leadership to explore adopting a specialized product delivery platform 
that serves all stakeholders equally. pegs-not-fitting

The solution must provide complete visibility into the delivery team’s current state of affairs in terms of decisions made to date, with quick, easy access to the documentation that logically lays out a new course of action. It must also integrate seamlessly with the other tools you use regularly to ensure critical data flows smoothly between applications.

Ultimately, you need a solution that’s built to provide immediate and measurable collaboration efficiencies.

With the right solution in place, a new,
 more innovative method of transparent collaboration becomes the norm. As a result, your entire team realizes game-changing productivity enhancements that not only foster creativity, but spur innovation.

Read the next part in the series, Top Frustrations of Software Engineers: Shifting to an “Embrace Change” Mentality.

Download the full whitepaper, Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers & Tips to Avoid Them.