Get help planning your next development cycle

Tech companies operate in a totally different world today than they did 10 years ago. Back when smartphones and other powerful mobile devices were first catching on, software as a service was also fairly new, and that meant customers had different expectations about their software. While it needed to work out of the box, the anticipation of constant bug fixes and feature updates just wasn’t there. Instead, the market favored products that would be replaced as they aged. That changed rapidly at the beginning of the decade, though, as everyone from mobile developers to desktop web browser projects moved to a constantly evolving, rapid update schedule.

This new practice of consistent updates was better for most software subscribers because it used fast internet connections and rapid updates to put out bug fixes more quickly, without the need to wait for major updates that consolidated dozens or even sometimes hundreds of them. At the same time, the app economy and the SAS model led to customer expectations for constant software improvement alongside the rapid updates for security and stability. This is especially obvious in apps that helped deliver a paid service, like Uber, and for those that charged a subscription fee, like workplace productivity apps. The result was a new problem for the industry to tackle, the question of how to balance a development team’s time between fixing bugs and working out new features. Luckily, error tracking software can help you make decisions about how to divide your time that are informed by data about the way your code is functioning.

Error Tracking and Stability Management

Rapid application development requires an awareness of the operational stability of your code on an ongoing basis because you’re not the only one with a constant stream of updates changing the way your app behaves and the range of features it offers users. It’s now a standard, especially within mobile software development spheres, and that means the ecosystem your programs run in is one that is constantly changing, with each change to either the OS or apps with interoperable features affecting the performance of your service. There’s also hardware fragmentation to contend with. All of that can make finding issues in the code difficult, and community bug reports can take a long time to come in. From there, they also need to be sorted, interpreted, and prioritized.

This is why using software for error tracking is a big help. It’s easy to get lost tracking down bugs when reports come in, and the chain of communication can sometimes lead to confusion about which bugs are producing outsized effects for a few isolated users and which ones are producing regular issues. If you can automate error detection and classification, you can get a more objective view on exactly how stable your stack is at the moment, giving you a better insight into when you might need to pivot, moving resources away from feature development and into the debugging cycle.

Balancing Your Team’s Priorities

Remember, it’s seldom as simple as choosing when to fix bugs and when to work on new ideas that will make your app even better. Usually, it’s a good idea to have developers working on both priorities at once. You do need to decide how to assign junior developers to those teams, though, and when you make decisions about your labor allocation based on a data-driven approach to assessing your needs, it’s a lot easier to be responsive quickly and without creating waste in the form of time, labor, or other resources. Check out the options for error tracking and prioritization today, and speed up the responsiveness of your next development cycle.

Photograph by Negative Space