Butterfly Effect in Web App Development

COO Victoria Moiseyenko by COO Victoria Moiseyenko on July 31, 2015

Butterfly Effect in Web App Development

Small changes can make a huge difference!

Numerous businesses had to delay software releases or even decline entire products because of unexpected crashes and failures in the code that took place after additional functionality was delivered and integrated into completed applications. If one looks beyond mere practices and methodologies of development he may truly realize that other laws can be applied to software as well.

Let’s take the Chaos Theory for example. It states that simple batting of any butterfly’s wings may launch a chain reaction and cause entire hurricanes in the future. Same with web application and site development. A poor architecture decision back at the planning stage may cause serious bottlenecks in load speed and performance in the future, or poorly designed or run tests will lead to forgotten or unrevealed defects that will evolve into supreme showstoppers when combined with newly written code. The worst part about this happening is you are completely unaware of minimalistic flaws in the past until they hit you hard in the future.

Prevent > Fix

One great way of dealing with such malicious occasions is attempting to prevent them from happening. However it is tricky and the process has no 1 clear solution or direction. However a well-tailored combination of several factors might just do the trick:

  • Quality through experience. The odds are many mistakes and risks will be avoided if it’s not your first rodeo. Surely every single web project is unique however core forming principals remain the same. There are many potential defects that repeat themselves throughout numerous similar products. Actual experience helps a lot throughout planning stages and allows to tailor future software with respect to both development methodologies that will be used, possible risks, appropriate sets of tools and languages and key requirements.
  • Quality through testing. Who says tests cannot be used as preventing measures? Continuous Integration and delivery methodologies have been existing for a while now and are an astonishing addition to agile software development life cycles. Not only is all new code tested and verified before added to core functionality but feedback and analysis are delivered to stakeholders thus even non-technical managers know what’s going on exactly and are capable of advanced ongoing planning.

Early vibes + Context

Numerous defects and potential flaws may be prevented or detected through context. Most of them has several early signals on should listen to with attention. Combining preventive and reacting measures may end up with products that are solid when released and required fairly lesser budgets through development.

Detecting ad fixing such early vibes of flaws is possible if attention’s paid to context. If any developer knows the entire scenario that has led to a particular malfunction fixing it is easier. For example an e-commerce platform may end up with booking issues in Safari browser, while all functions correctly in Chrome and Firefox. Such knowledge reduces required amount of work to a necessary minimum. Perhaps a new flaw took place or a style broke after new functionality was added or a patch was integrated? Whatever the case environment pays a vital role in debugging thus this leads us to an obvious conclusion:

Appropriate documentation and tracking must be present throughout entire development cycle. Despite such processes often tend to be burdensome, especially to developers, appropriate management position has to insist on them being put in place.

Analysis of targeted tech

As mentioned above one tiny butterfly may cause unpredicted events to the entire world. Same with web development and its core functionality that should be compatible with either all or targeted software, third party components and external hardware. Chrome differs from Safari and MacBooks have numerous string sides and vulnerabilities Windows-powered laptops don’t. Being ready for such events in advance makes your web projects much more secure from unexpected vulnerabilities.

Also, third party software you may be using is created regarding its own laws and principals. It may have internal vulnerabilities to hack attacks, etc. Or such a product’s logic may differ from whatever solutions you are designing. So, if you are aware you will be using additional functionality, say Google Maps for example, in your product, ensure both your code and logic are tailored in a fashion where all ingredients blend perfectly.

Covering these core concepts will save you from a lot of pain in the future so, please make sure to pay attention to even smallest details.