Size Matters in Software Development

Size was the single most important factor in the resolution of project outcome.” — CHAOS Report 2015, Standish Group.

The larger a software project is, the higher the chances it’ll fail. Let’s define what makes a software project large. Any project with more than 1M source lines of code (SLOC) is considered a large project. 100k to 1M SLOC would fall into the medium category, while any software project with 10k to 100k SLOC can be considered small. A software project with less than 10k SLOC is tiny.

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Attention, Distractions, and Context Switching

Anything you focus on will flourish

The information age has brought a lot of pressure on people’s attention. You are not immune to it and your software development team definitely isn’t either. The nature of software development requires long uninterrupted blocks of time to focus on problem solving. The longer you focus on a problem without interruptions the deeper you get into a state of flow, commonly referred to as being “in the zone”. Where everything is fluid, and smooth, and… until someone taps you on the shoulder just to tell you that they sent you an email 3 seconds ago.

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Software Deterioration

I recently downloaded a software tool to help me complete a task but upon executing it, it failed to run. Initially I thought it was due to the poor internet connection. I fixed the network but it still won’t run. No error messages, nothing. After a few minutes of trying different things I realised that the software won’t run because a library it relied on was no longer supported by the operating system I was using. Software deterioration is the phrase used to describe this type of situation.

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