The Importance Of Understandability In Software Development :-

Credits : Forbes

In tech, we talk a lot about “monitoring” and “observability.” Many of us like to have pretty charts and graphs. We like to be notified when things go wrong. We like to be able to see things. But noticing something is wrong is just the first piece of a long equation. To get to the resolution, you need to actually understand what you are seeing. This is a lesson I’ve taken from working in cybersecurity, and it remains a major pain point in today’s DevOps culture.

Engineers can spend hours each day just trying to understand their own code and debugging issues. With the rise of the cloud came tremendous agility and innovation, but also unprecedented complexity. In today’s world, applications are distributed across thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of servers. Things are getting more abstract with containerization and Kubernetes. We all love these technologies for the power they give us, but we don’t talk enough about the headaches they give us, too.

This is especially true for software developers, where everything looks good running on a local machine until the code is deployed to the cloud. Then who knows how it will behave or even where it will end up running.

Understandability is a concept from the finance industry that emphasizes the importance of financial information being presented in a way that a reader can easily comprehend. Now, of course, it’s not the case that every reader should be able to understand the information — we have to assume a reasonable amount of relative knowledge — but the basic idea remains: It shouldn’t take copious amounts of time and effort to simply understand what is going on.

I believe we need to take this concept of understandability to software. This means that when engineers are investigating an issue, they should be able to get a clear picture of the problem in a short amount of time. They should be able to relay this information to key business stakeholders in a way that’s concise and organized. And finally, they should be empowered to take action and fix the problem without causing a disruption to the application or to the customer.

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