Analysis of a Difficult Project

In the eight years that I’ve been a software developer, I’ve had my share of difficult projects. Early on, the difficulty might have been because I was new to development and new to the code base. I had to learn my team’s conventions and how to use our internal tools. Recently, however, I had my most stressful project so far. The initial development seemed to go well enough, but getting the quality to where it needed to be took much, much longer than anticipated. I’m now taking the opportunity to reflect on what went wrong, so I can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Project Summary In this project, I was taking some legacy code and rewriting it to be web-based. I’ve probably done this ten times before, but this was one of our most complicated activities. It was also one of my first projects since we switched to a quarterly release cycle, which meant more pressure from deadlines. I won’t go into more detail than that, except to say that due to the nature of my job, the quality of released code has to be very, very high. The possibility of a data integrity error – either from a programming mistake or because the user is confused – is simply not acceptable. Design Part of our process is to have a design for each new piece...

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