And then the spec changed again: Developers and their top headaches

New research from Microsoft suggests that software development faces a number of hurdles as the IT world adjusts to new platforms and devices

Half of new applications are failing to deliver a reasonable return on investment, according to a survey of developer and the execs that commission these projects.

According to a survey commissioned by Microsoft, barely half of new applications (51 percent) and software (51 percent) are delivering a reasonable return on investment, with developers blaming a list of professional headaches.

Survey respondents highlighted five challenges that are keeping IT people awake at night:

  1.  Design requirements that change part way through development.
  2. The need for regular testing and addition of updates when an operating system changed/updated.
  3. The need to programme in multiple languages.
  4. Security or privacy issues.
  5. The difficulties involved in porting applications to multiple platforms.

Despite these hurdles, developers remain positive — nearly all (95 percent) said they are optimistic about the future of this industry while 78 percent of developers believe that the demand for IT skills has grown massively over the last few years. Far from being a fully mature sector, 86 percent of the developers believe that they have "barely scratched the surface of what's possible with software and applications".

The survey interviewed 220 professional developers, 80 hobbyists and 100 marketing decision makers responsible for commissioning software development.

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