Best practises while developing large scale websites
With the fast paced development of Internet technologies, the perception of websites takes a new definition every few years. From static web pages, we have now moved on to dynamic, user-interactive web pages. In fact, most of the things that we do in the real life can now also be done online. With so much dependency on Internet-driven applications, it is important that these applications and websites are built properly. This is important for specific critical websites where we transact with money – as a small bug can cause a very severe impact to the user as well as the seller’s business and reputation.
Therefore, a lot of responsibility is bestowed on the development team. However, with large scale websites which contain numerous components, an additional challenge is the size of the development team and to manage the team effectively. In fact, large teams are generally divided in terms of small modules, and these sub-groups often interact at later stages of development. There could be several issues that could crop up due to mismanagement of a large group. The aim of such teams is to ensure proper planning is done and processes are setup for each activity.
There are several best practises that are followed by teams worldwide in order to create efficient and trouble-free applications. The first thing that needs to be ensure is proper requirement gathering, and then, proper analysis based on the resources available. Unrealistic expectations at the beginning of the development cycle would have to be carried all though the execution of the project, which is absolutely undesirable. Hence, the requirement should be analysed with utmost sincerity and then converted into a working design.
There is nothing more important in a development cycle than the design. Developers around the world agree on the fact that an efficient design reduces coding effort by 50 percent. In modular web applications, design becomes extremely critical as it is the common link between each module. In such situations, the design should create provisions for more common functionalities and services, which can be reused by different modules. This not only ensures uniformity but also takes care of any redundancy in code or issues that could come up due to abnormal dependencies.
Every stage in the development process needs to be review by peers as well as seniors in order to prevent any conflicts in approaches. In the implementation phase, the communication between different sub-groups becomes very critical as they start working on common components.
In most cases, a centralized code repository is used where several people share and collaborate on a single version of code. As and when people create or modify files, it is checked in to the common location. The problem arises when different people working on the same file at the same time do not communicate effectively. A situation could arise where a person could override the other person’s code unknowingly. This could have a major impact and would lead to rework at the very least. Thus, one should always communicate to the entire team as soon as they put their version of the code to the common location so that others could update their local copy of the centralized code.
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