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Top 3 Challenges Developers Face on Projects

Embarcadero conducted a survey and the results have been tabulated for the top three challenges that developers face on projects.

Developers face numerous challenges when working on projects. Not only does technology continue to evolve over time, but there are daily challenges that must be faced when working on projects as well. Embarcadero conducted a survey and the results have been tabulated for the top three challenges that developers face on projects.

The third most listed challenge faced by developers is insufficient or no requirements. Completing a project without having a clear definition of the objectives makes delivering an acceptable solution a huge challenge. As such, it is not surprising that 30 percent of the developers polled indicated that insufficient requirements was one of their biggest challenges.


Barely beating insufficient or no requirements, 31 percent of those surveyed stated that poor unit and system testing resulted in one of their biggest challenges on projects. While at the opposite end of the development spectrum from the number three challenge, testing is still critical for insuring that an appropriate, well-functioning solution is delivered without proper testing, As most developers know, when cuts have to be made, it is often testing that is first to get slashed.

The number one challenge facing developers was overwhelmingly clear in that 52 percent of those surveyed indicated it as a challenge. In fact, the number one challenge could be considered a major contributor toward the number two and three challenges already mentioned. It should come as no shock that the number one challenge faced by developers is that they don’t have enough time to accomplish the tasks that have been assigned.

These top three challenges are pulled from a survey recently conducted by Embarcadero. Other challenges listed in the survey include poor planning, scope creep, bad design decisions, and lack of user involvement.

Results on the biggest challenges centered on issues that can be related to time. What is interesting is that the survey also asked how respondents would want to spend their time. It is no surprise that the number one focus would be on having more time to learn new programming languages and technologies in order to keep their skills up. Had you not read the top three challenges that were identified, then you might be surprised to hear that the second most popular area for where developers would spend extra time is on unit and system testing.

The number three answer, however, might be a surprise. While the belief is that nearly all developers don’t like to do documentation, the number three area where more time would be spent is adding documentation to notes and code.

Bradley Jones works for Internet.com, a division of QuinStreet, as the Content Director over the sites focusing on software development and database technologies. His experience includes development in C#, C+++, C, VB, some Java, ASP.NET, COBOL, and much more. He has served as a developer, consultant, analyst, lead, and much more. As an international bestselling author and speaker, his books include Teach Yourself the C# Language in 21 Days, Web 2.0 Heroes and Windows Live Essentials and Services. Among his recognitions, he has received the Microsoft MVP award for his influence in the technical community.
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