Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Three Things All Applications SHOULD WANT to Have

This is the third in a three part series:

  1. Three Things that all Applications MUST Have
  2. Three Things that all Applications SHOULD Have
  3. Three Things that all Applications SHOULD WANT to Have

Somehow these three things are quite controversial. I have had many debates with people who are not using these practices and services, and they are not convinced of their usefulness. However everyone I have met that has used these tools is always a staunch defender of their value! I beg you to give these a chance, try them out and they will prove their merit to you!

Do you agree or disagree with these practices? Let me know in the comments!

1. Error Reporting

How do you know what is wrong with your application? Without proof you are just guessing!

Reporting errors to a central location helps you solve problems the moment they begin, not after they have negatively impacted your entire user base. Here is a fun Microsoft statistic: 80% of customer issues can be solved by fixing 20% of the top-reported bugs. So start reporting your exceptions today!

2. User Impersonation

The easiest way to recreate a bug reported from a specific user is to actually be that user. By adding user impersonation to your application you can save your QA team hours of time. While I completely understand the security concerns of this feature, I must still emphasize the value that it returns in the forms of testing and debugging.

You may want to take this code out in production, but make sure you have in QA and Dev!

3. Continuous Deployment

There is a difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment, and I am talking about continuous deployment. Just imagine: instant bug fixes, constant streams of new features, and best of all no more deployment schedules! This is not a cheap goal to achieve and it requires continuous maintenance of your tests and deployments, but so does all software development!

To be honest I have never worked in an environment where we made it all the way to continuous deployment, but I would really like to someday! The few people I have met who have been able to accomplish this task had nothing but great things to say about it. Like always I would suggest starting small with a new practice like this, pick an internal application or minor project and begin your foray into continuous deployment from there.

Miss a post in this series? Start over with part 1: Three Things that all Applications MUST Have


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