Simplify Your Projects to Ensure Scalability Later

Ken-Hardin

We wrote earlier this week about different methods for Taking Control of Application Dev and Management processes within your company. A key concept you'll hear mentioned over and over in conversations about apps - and enterprise tech in general - is simplicity.

 

Simplicity in your dev process begins before the first line of code is written, in the scope phase. Business owners (and developers, too, upon occasion) tend to try to engineer systems to accommodate every possible nuisance, resulting in enormously complicated code bases that are painful to maintain. And heaven help you if the developer who wrote the code gets a new job.

 

The first chapter of the book "Scalability Rules," which is available for free download here in the IT Downloads library, offers six tips to keep projects simple and, hence, scalable. Authors Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher focus primarily on website design, so some of the tips - Reduce DNS Lookups, for example - may well not be relevant to your next project, specifically. But many kernels of wisdom apply to evaluating and scoping any dev project.

 

The tips are laid out in an easy-to-digest bullet-point format, with an in-depth discussion following.

 

For example, the first (and most) basic tip, "Don't Overengineer the Solution," is laid out as follows:


 

What: Guard against complex solutions during design.

When to use: Can be used for any project and should be used for all large or complex systems or projects.

How to use: Resist the urge to overengineer solutions by testing ease of understanding with fellow engineers.

Why: Complex solutions are costly to implement and have excessive long-term costs.

Key takeaways: Systems that are overly complex limit your ability to scale. Simple systems are more easily and cost effectively maintained and scaled.

 

Other gems you'll find in the 48-page PDF file:

 

  • At each phase of project scoping, review requirements and simplify again. Project complexity should face the broom of simplification at least 3 times during a development lifecyle.
  • For projects that will actually need to dramatically scale over their lifecycle, invest "big thinker" intellectual capital into initial design to ensure that the solution will be able to scale five years from now.
  • Use homogenous networking gear, if at all possible.

 

For more insight into the scalabity of your application dev processes, be sure to check out the book excerpt "'Agile Software Requirements," also available for free download here in the IT Downloads library.



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