Bugs are an inevitable component in software development. How can we avoid them anyway?
Bugs in software and how to avoid 95% of them
At Troido, we always strive for the best software quality possible, and yet we still produce bugs (only once every 5 years, but still).
Are we not good enough at what we do? Can bugs be completely avoided?
In our company, we have been developing mobile apps since Nokia existed (before color TV and the Internet). During these years, we have not only gained the knowledge and experience to develop better software, but also developed tools and processes to avoid bugs.
What are bugs and, more importantly, why do they keep popping up?
The nature of bugs
Before we get into how to avoid bugs, let’s take a quick look at what exactly a bug is and how it is created.
Bugs are an inevitable component of software development. No matter how much time and effort we put into testing and quality assurance, some bugs will inevitably slip through the cracks and make it into production.
The first bugs notch didn’t even appear in software, but in hardware. They were moths that caused short circuits in the first computers. So debugging back then was still the search for real insects.
Statistics say that 15 bugs per 1000 lines of code make it into production.
An average iPhone app has about 50,000 lines of code that contain an average of 750 bugs – a lot. And every one of them has the potential to crash the app and leave you with unhappy customers. Larger apps can contain up to a million lines or more.
But why do bugs occur in the first place and what can we do to prevent them?.
Basically, bugs are simply mistakes made by software developers. These mistakes can happen for a variety of reasons, including miscommunication, lack of understanding, or simple human error. It is important to realize that bugs are not the fault of any one person, but the result of a complex system of people, processes and technology.
Why bugs are so persistent
Bugs can be persistent despite intensive testing and review procedures. One reason for this is that software components are usually interdependent, and the behavior of one component can affect the behavior of another. In addition, modern software applications are often so complex that it is virtually impossible to verify every possible state and behavior.
Strategies to avoid bugs
Although it is difficult to completely avoid bugs, there are some best practices and techniques that can help reduce the number of bugs in your software.
Good planning and design
One of the most important strategies for avoiding bugs is good planning and thoughtful design. If you have a clear idea from the beginning of how you want your software to work and what requirements it needs to meet, you can eliminate many possible sources of bugs.
Code reviews, also called code reviews, are an excellent way to identify and fix bugs early on. By having your colleagues review your code, you can ensure that it is both understandable and error-free. Code reviews should be performed regularly and should consider both the functional and structural quality of the code.
Test, test, test
Another crucial step in avoiding bugs is to test your software extensively. The more testing you do, the more likely you are to find and fix bugs before they make it into the final release. You should use both automated tests (e.g. unit tests, integration tests) and manual tests (e.g. by the QA team).
Implementing continuous integration (CI) can also help prevent bugs. CI ensures that code is integrated and tested regularly so that bugs can be identified and fixed early. In addition, CI encourages team collaboration and helps avoid potential integration issues between different code contributions.
Using error detection tools
There are numerous tools and software solutions that can help you detect errors in your code. These include static analysis tools that check your code for potential problems, and dynamic analysis tools that monitor your application at runtime. Some of these tools can also automatically generate error reports to help you find the root cause of the problem faster.
Documenting and commenting the code
Good documentation and sufficient commenting of the code are essential to avoid bugs. They help not only yourself, but also other developers in the team to better understand the code and identify possible sources of bugs. Comprehensive documentation should cover how your software works, the technologies and algorithms used, and any important design decisions.
Bugs in software are annoying and can have serious consequences. To avoid them, ensure good planning and design, perform regular code reviews, test extensively, implement continuous integration, use bug detection tools, and always ensure good documentation and commenting of code.
By following these best practices, you can not only reduce the number of bugs in your software, but also improve the quality of your applications and ultimately realize more successful projects.