The Software Quality Cost Myth

Josep Mir
The Startup
Published in
8 min readMay 5, 2020

Software Quality: Not only working software, but also well-crafted software

A short story

Just like every other myth, there is a scary story behind it. The story in this case is this software project that a certain company started. After months of thinking and planning, the directors of the project finally got the budget to kick off. They started hiring people to begin with this business idea that will make them millionaires.

At the beginning, there were only a few people there, and like every beginning, this was a sweet phase. Everybody was happy and extremely motivated. All the members of the team were on the same page, the developers started to deliver the first features and the managers could start showing everybody the first steps of their little baby.

But as the time passed by, and more people were added to the project, the communication between all the team members decreased a bit. The old people are still the same, but the new people… you know, it is not the same feeling. They don’t fully understand the product, don’t understand the code, and they don’t understand certain decisions we made in the past. But there is no need to worry about it, let’s give them some time, they will be aligned soon.

Soon after, the productivity of the team started to slow down, now everybody in the company noticed it. Maybe it was because of the new people or maybe because of other reasons, but the business could not meet the goals set for this quarter. The development team didn’t identify any major problem, so let’s give them a bit more time, and for the next quarter and let’s add more resources there.

Next quarter was even worse, we doubled the resources in the development team, and the productivity dropped to minimums. The development team is delivering nearly nothing at the moment, and the few things they deliver are full of bugs that need endless extra hours to be fixed. They just complain about the codebase, apparently it is a complete disaster now. People are not happy anymore, they have endless discussions about silly things and sometimes they even have heavy arguments. But this is not all, the cherry of the cake is that the two most experienced developers, the ones that knew more about the product, just left the company. And being honest, I…

Josep Mir
The Startup

Software engineer as a profession, frustrated musician as a hobby, casual sportsman and social drinker in my free time. My personal blog: