What do I learn – Why software fails – Week 18

In this week I research the software development process, how and how often the planning of a project fails, and which are the principal causes of why a project fails.

What fails in software development 

This week I read the first 10 chapters of The Mythical Man-Month, a book that talks about different problems that software entrants to planning.  

Starting with the size of the team, the level of coordination between every member should be stable and constant, with every person having defined work and responsibilities. 

But there are different ways of communication, and the documentation of the project is one of the most important. 

This documentation should give the necessary information for each programmer to understand the point of the project, what is required and how they are going to do it. 

These documents must have the objectives, specifications, schedule, budget, organization chart, and space allocations, in order to solve questions: what, when, how much, who, and where

Failure in the software industry 

This week I was reading about the success or failure of software development projects. 

It was outstanding that most of the large projects of software may fail in one way or in the other. 

Like the case of a large British food retailer, their system just erases a whole warehouse from the system, causing billions of losses. 

To developments that just don’t work at the end of the day and need a big redesign or just be canceled. 

With this in mind, software developers are very exposed to failure and need to be prepared for that in the case that happens. 

Dealing with failure 

Failure is an undesired end, but once in life we should experience that feeling, it’s just impossible for everything to go in a better condition and always be perfect. 

Besides being something normal, failure can be prejudicial psychologically for the people who experience it, making us feel helpless, unmotivated, and making us think bad things about our abilities. 

That’s why it is important that have in mind that failure is a probable and normal outcome (but obviously, we want to do our best), fight the distortions, think and learn about the factor that we have in our control is a way to take it in a better way. 

And, personally, one of the best pieces of advice that I had about this topic is to not make it personal. 

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