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Software development issues: Common program bugs and how to avoid them

Despite their best efforts to create a program that is completely usable from the launch and bug free, sometimes software contains certain issues that can affect how users leverage it. However, there are several issues that occur on a more frequent basis during the software development process. By identifying these common bugs, program creators can improve their efforts to avoid them and release software that can become an asset to users.

Issues depending on coding language
Some software problems occur because of the program language being utilized to develop it. For example, some mobile initiatives run into issues with native code, as the application must be retooled depending on the particular device's operating system. However, by identifying the requirements of the program from the beginning, developers can work to choose the best-suited language. In the case of a mobile deployment, HTML5 offers myriad benefits, including cross-platform functionality. This can eliminate issues tied to application usability on an array of mobile hardware.

Problems arise during application lifecycle
TechTarget contributor Dror Helper also noted that certain bugs can arise depending on the specific step the developer is on at the time. The lifecycle of an application consists of five stages, including requirements, design, development, testing and deployment. According to Helper, program creators may forget to consider certain needs during the requirement step, which could result in an app that is incomplete, or does not address user demands. Additionally, issues can also arise during development.

"During the development stage, there are also the bugs that keep appearing - regression bugs as the project progresses," Helper wrote. "It becomes harder and harder not to 'break' existing functionality when implementing a new feature and fixing another bug."

To avoid such "regression bugs," creators should not rush through the development process. By taking their time and ensuring each stage is completed effectively and successfully, developers will not run into issues as the initiative advances.

Human error causes software issues
Bugs can also come from human errors that may occur during software creation. Dr. Dobb's contributor Ben Chelf noted that these app issues can result from a range of aspects affecting developers, including system ignorance, stress or boredom. Whatever the cause, some of the most common issues connected with human error are problems arising from copy and paste mistakes or typos. Chelf pointed out that often times, a specific name or line of code may be repeated and the developer may choose to copy and paste these characters. However, if this information is pasted to the wrong place, it can cause functionality problems. Additionally, whereas small typos like omitting punctuation may not be a large issue regularly, in software coding it can cause a big problem.

"Unlike in English, where the reader can likely 'figure out what you meant,' a computer will blindly execute code as is, causing the functionality to be incorrect," Chelf wrote.

To prevent such human errors, developers should be sure to carry out processes effectively, and not cut corners to speed up the process. While a faster time-to-market is beneficial, it is not advantageous to release a program with bugs.


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