Top 10 software development traps

In his keynote address to the Software Developers' Conference, Karl Wiegers outlined his top ten 'software development traps'.

In his keynote address to the Software Developers’ Conference, Karl Wiegers outlined his top ten “software development traps”.

When he asked his audience how many people had experienced them, a large proportion of the audience admitted to suffering at least four or five.

The top 10 traps, according to Wiegers, are:

  • The project’s vision and scope are never clearly defined
  • Customers are too busy to spend time working with developers on requirements
  • Customer surrogates (managers or marketing) claim to speak for the users, but they really don’t
  • Users claim all requirements are critical and do not prioritise them
  • Developers encounter ambiguities and missing information during coding, and they have to guess
  • Customers sign off on the requirements, then change them continuously
  • The scope increases as requirements changes are accepted, but the schedule slips because more resources are not provided
  • Requested requirements changes get lost and the status of a change request is not known
  • Functionality is requested and built, but never used
  • The specification is satisfied, but the customer is not.
Wiegers suggested some remedies for each of these traps, in an address that was well received by the audience.

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