Welcome back to another episode of Building Better Developers. Today, we’re tackling an issue that every developer faces at some point: panic during software delivery. Whether it’s a critical bug or a new feature that isn’t functioning as expected, panic can strike anytime your software fails in the hands of a user. Rob and Michael cover handling software delivery panic with practical tips and real-life examples.

Listen to the Podcast on Handling Software Delivery Panic

The Inevitable Bug: Why Panic Happens

Delivering software is a delicate process. Even when you’ve thoroughly tested your code and believe it to be bulletproof, something can always go wrong. Often, the panic ensues because:

  1. Unexpected User Behavior: Users may interact with the software in ways you didn’t anticipate. This is particularly common in beta tests or early releases where feedback is crucial.
  2. Overlooked Bugs: Some users have a knack for breaking things. These users often find bugs that slipped through your QA processes.
  3. Critical Stakeholders: When a manager, CEO, or client encounters a problem, the stakes feel much higher. Their frustration can quickly escalate to panic.

Real-Life Panic: A Case Study on Handling Software Delivery Panic

Recently, Rob faced this scenario with a technically knowledgeable customer. Despite understanding the development process, the customer encountered a show-stopping bug in an alpha version. Their immediate reaction was that the project was nowhere near completion, creating a sense of panic.

During our call, he expressed concerns that none of the features seemed to work. He acknowledged that bugs and design flaws were expected at this stage, but the issue was so severe that it led to a dramatic loss of confidence in the project.

Handling Software Delivery Panic

Step 1: Stay Calm and Analyze

The first and most crucial step when faced with panic is to stay calm. Take a deep breath and focus on understanding the situation:

  • Reproduce the Issue: Identify the user’s steps to encounter the bug. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a permission issue or an unanticipated input.
  • Prioritize Fixes: Address the most critical issues first, especially those that block user progress.

Step 2: Effective Communication

Reassure the stakeholders that you’re on top of the situation:

  • Acknowledge the Problem: Validate their concerns and show you understand the impact.
  • Outline the Next Steps: Explain how you plan to fix the issue and provide a realistic timeline.

Step 3: Learn and Improve

Use this experience to strengthen your development and testing processes:

  • Enhance Testing: Incorporate the steps that led to the bug into your testing scenarios. Automated tests can help catch these issues earlier.
  • Add Logging: Improve logging to gather more information if a similar problem arises in the future.

Real-Life Tips from Experience

Michael shares an insightful story about a shared work experience. Despite rigorous testing, their boss would find bugs within minutes of a release. This constant scrutiny drove home the importance of thorough testing and the psychological pressure of delivering seemingly flawless code.

One key takeaway from Michael’s story is the value of Test-Driven Development (TDD). By writing tests before the actual code, you ensure that each function meets the specified requirements. This approach not only catches potential issues early but also clarifies the expected behavior for each part of your application.

Practical Advice for Developers

Before starting on a new feature or bug fix, consider the following:

  • Clarify Requirements: Ensure you have detailed requirements, including user input constraints and expected outputs.
  • Define Acceptance Criteria: Clearly outline what constitutes a successful implementation.
  • Implement Robust Logging: Log critical operations to simplify debugging and provide insights into any issues that arise.

Using Static Code Analysis Tools To Handling Software Delivery Panic


SonarQube Is a code quality assurance tool that performs in-depth code analysis and generates an analysis report to ensure code reliability.

  • Language Support: Java, JavaScript, C#, PHP, Python, C++, and more.
  • Features: Provides comprehensive code quality and security analysis, integrates with CI/CD pipelines, and offers detailed reports.
  • Strengths: Strong community support, extensive plugin ecosystem, and good integration with various development tools.


ESLint statically analyzes your code to quickly find problems. It is built into most text editors and you can run ESLint as part of your continuous integration pipeline.

  • Language Support: JavaScript, TypeScript.
  • Features: Identifies and reports on patterns in JavaScript, customizable rules, and integration with most text editors and build systems.
  • Strengths: Highly customizable, large number of plugins, and widely used in the JavaScript community.


PMD is an extensible multilanguage static code analyzer. It finds common programming flaws like unused variables, empty catch blocks, unnecessary object creation, etc.

  • Language Support: Java, JavaScript, Salesforce Apex, PLSQL, XML, XSL.
  • Features: Detects common coding issues like bugs, unused variables, and performance bottlenecks.
  • Strengths: Simple rule configuration, supports multiple languages, and can be integrated into build tools like Maven and Gradle.


Pylint is a static code analyser for Python 2 or 3. The latest version supports Python 3.8.0 and above.

Pylint analyses your code without actually running it. It checks for errors, enforces a coding standard, looks for code smells, and can make suggestions about how the code could be refactored.

  • Language Support: Python.
  • Features: Checks for coding standards, errors, and code smells, provides suggestions for code improvements.
  • Strengths: Highly configurable, integrates well with IDEs and CI/CD pipelines, and widely used in the Python community.

Final Thoughts on Handling Software Delivery Panic

Panic during software delivery is unavoidable, but it’s manageable. By staying calm, communicating effectively, and learning from each incident, you can turn these challenging moments into opportunities for improvement. Remember, every bug is a lesson in disguise, pushing you toward becoming a better developer.

That’s it for today’s episode. We hope these insights help you handle panic more effectively and continue building better software. Until next time, keep calm and code on!

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We invite you to join our community and share your coding journey with us. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting, there’s always room to learn and grow together. Contact us at [email protected] with your questions, feedback, or suggestions for future episodes. Together, let’s continue exploring the exciting world of software development.

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