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Top five things that developers love to hate

And some tips on how to get around them

© Helen Morrice, IDAP Group

Intelligent Developers

Most of the time app developers are writing code and pulling out all the stops to write it properly. Despite their endless dedication to work, there isn't anything that tests the tolerance, as well as the patience of app developers, more than unnecessarily awkward situations.

Though app developers can earn a good living, sometimes their highly-respected job can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. But what annoys app developers most? We've conducted deep research asking (and yes, annoying) the developers at IDAP Group to tell us what annoys them at work. Our developers shared their thoughts on what can make them hot under the collar while writing code.

Top five things that burn up app developers

Constantly changing requirements

Just imagine that you are an app developer and you've already completed more than a half of what you have to do. Then your project manager (PM) adds one more feature, before completion, since "...it won't take a long time". In some cases such features aren't a recipe for improvement, not really adding anything to the app. Instead, they will make app developers hot under the collar, even if they are controlling their emotions and anger.

How to get around changing requirements?

Take advantage of Agile methodology. Agile is a flexible software development method which allows dividing the process into a series of development cycles. In this case, all the elements are dividing into sub-tasks, and hence each sub-task is a separate project for a dev team.

When all elements or features are divided properly, the development risks, such as adding new app features, are minimized.

Worthless meetings

Most of the developers perceive constant meetings as needless, especially when a PM has nothing new to mention. Too many meetings are just as detrimental to productivity as ever-changing requirements.

The types of meetings to make one's blood boil:

  • Over-long meetings
  • Meetings without a clear objective
  • Pointless team-building meetings
  • Red-tape meetings

Another side effect of poorly organized meetings is that they can discourage developers. If meetings usually take more time than expected, team members will keep silent in order not to add additional topics for heated discussions.

How to get around time-wasting meetings?

A piece of advice for PMs - think twice before scheduling meetings for your dev team. In case you can go without a meeting, don't run it just because it is scheduled. Meetings, as well as other interruptions, may result in working late into the night. And sometimes there are too many meetings so that developers start looking to the weekends, not because they can take some rest, but because developers have some meeting-free time to get the work done.

A great deal of top-priority tasks

Some people fail to remember what "prioritize" means. It stands for ranking projects and tasks according to their importance. But many PMs are too afraid to rank one task above another assuming that the task with lower priority won't be done on time. That's not entirely true.

In fact, PMs follow the principle that developers can do everything "in parallel". Furthermore, managers sometimes add more top-priority tasks and still wait for the others to be done on time. Few people understand the real opportunities to complete all the tasks that are the correct high-priority issues for the projects on time. This lack of understanding can make everyone fly off the handle. Frankly speaking, I don't know anyone who doesn't understand proper deadlines. However, is that "top-priority item" really needed for the first release?

How to get around too many high-proprity tasks?

Don't make the developers live and work in a world where every task is a top priority. Set clear objectives and everything will be done on time. Of course, it's easier for managers to blame the developers when something isn't finished on time. A clear understanding of important functions is a golden pill for your mobile app.

Bad code

App developers have their own writing style just like writers. Thus diving into someone else's code can be quite a challenging task, especially if a programmer didn't do a very good job. Even if the code is quite decent, it will still be a nightmare scenario for developers when it comes to maintaining or refactoring.

The biggest frustration is that a developer has to spend quite a long time getting their head around someone else's architecture, due to a wide range of method naming, white space usage, and development tools. Plus when the previous developer didn't create any documentation, especially useful high level overviews, then the chances to blow up are particularly high.

How to get around bad code?

Once, in 1991, John F. Woods, a wise programmer, said that you have to:

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live. Code for readability.

And I completely agree with his words. Code for readability, this is probably the only way to abide bad code and "crank" developers.


Developers wear headphones not because they are great music lovers. They do it to concentrate on their job and shut out all that distracting noise. Headphones are like a silent sign for Leave me alone, I'm working.

Interruptions have a detrimental effect on every kind of work, don't they? It has been said that one has to spend 25 minutes to pick up the work after any interruption.

How to get around interruptions?

So just remember that every interruption takes up around 15-30 minutes of development time, and don't forget the time you spend while talking. If there is no fire and other emergencies, don't disturb app developers, and especially when they are wearing headphones.

In conclusion

Your key to successful work with developers is to avoid the aforementioned things. Of course, you can't avoid them all of the time. But at least, you can try. Are there any other things that can make you hot under the collar? Please share your hates (or thoughts) in the comments below.

Short Bio

Author: Helen Morrice


Helen is a content crafter at IDAP Group. She researches, writes, and reads. With 100+ articles on app development, Helen could be a developer. But her real passion is journalism. Follow Helen on Facebook or Twitter.

Developers are Human

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