Mistakes Non-Technical People Make When Building Software

A photograph of the author: Ejaz Ahmad

By: Ejaz Ahmad


In the software world, we often refer to non-technical people as “non-DBA” or “non-devops”. This is because developers don’t necessarily have to have a background in database administration, and everyone else doesn’t have to be developers. But even though it’s not necessary for your organization to have a technical team (or even just one), you still need to consider the unique challenges of building software when working with software engineers. Here are some common mistakes that non-technical people make when building their software.

Failing to clearly define goals and requirements

The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only person working on the project. You will have many people who will be working on this project, and it’s easy to assume that they know what they’re doing.

  • Don’t assume that everyone knows what they’re doing: This is an easy mistake because we’ve all been in situations where someone says “Let me do this” or “I’ll figure it out”. But there are some things that need to be done before starting work, like creating goals and requirements for your project. These can be as simple as “Our goal is for people to sign up for our app” or “Each user should be able to log into their account no more than once per day.” These basic statements give everyone clear direction which makes communication easier later down the road when things get complicated or there are questions about scope creep (more on scope here).

Not involving technical experts in the decision-making process

When you’re building software, it’s important to involve technical experts in the decision-making process. If a non-technical person can’t understand why something is important or how it works, they won’t be able to make good choices about what should be done and how it should be implemented.

You might think this is obvious and that everyone would already do this—but often times we don’t take enough time or effort into making sure our decisions are based on solid evidence instead of gut feelings or guesswork. If you’re going to make an investment in your team’s success (and by extension, yours), then taking steps like these will help ensure that those decisions are sound ones!

Not considering scalability and long-term maintenance costs.

Scalability and maintenance are two important considerations for any software project. While it’s easy to understand the importance of scalability, many developers don’t think about how it affects the long term cost of their product.

The best way to look at scalability is by comparing your code with an existing solution that does not have your features but is similar in terms of functionality or performance. That way you can see what kind of increase or decrease there will be in processing time or memory usage once you implement those features into your system and determine whether they’re worth pursuing as part of your project roadmap.

To consider long-term maintenance costs, consider all sources available within the organization (e.g., budgeting) and then prioritize them based on ease & cost effectiveness – this includes things like hiring contractors vs internal resources who may already exist but don’t get enough attention due to lackadaisical management practices; outsourcing infrastructure management tasks such as server administration which would otherwise require hours every week outside normal business hours.

Ignoring security and privacy considerations

Security and privacy are two of the most important aspects of software development. The only way to be sure that your product is secure is to make sure that no one can access it, either by accident or design. For example, if you’re building a social network for people who live in rural areas and want to avoid being inundated with spammy messages from online advertisers (a common problem), then you will want to make sure that only verified users can post on the site.

What does this mean? Well, let’s say a hacker wants access into our system so he can add himself into our database—that would potentially allow him access not only across all applications but also into other databases as well! In order for us not only keep ourselves safe but also others around us too we need some sort of way where they’re going through an approval process before they’re allowed entry into anything else like CVS files etc.

Thinking developers are interchangeable.

The problem with this is that it can lead to you hiring the wrong developers. A developer who is good at a particular technology or language may not be able to work with others of different skill sets, personality types, or work ethics.

It’s important for companies to understand that there are many different kinds of developers out there—and each one has varying strengths and weaknesses that make them good for certain jobs but not others. For example:

  • Some programmers have strong visualization skills; they’re comfortable thinking visually when designing software systems instead of strictly writing code. These people are often good at creating user interfaces (UIs) because they can see how their ideas will look on screens instead of just writing instructions in text files like most other coders do. On the other hand, some programmers don’t have much visual imagination—they prefer working through logical steps rather than imagining what something might look like before they begin coding it up on paper first! In this case you’d probably want someone else who specializes in UI design instead.”

Underestimating the importance of the tech stack.

The tech stack is the combination of technologies used to build the product. It’s not just a bunch of code, but also includes things like data storage systems, web frameworks and databases. The tech stack is crucial because it determines how much time you spend building your product and what kind of performance you can expect from it when it’s finished.

The faster you can develop your software using this framework (the more mature and tested), the less expensive it will be for your team members; in fact, some teams have found that they could reduce their development costs by up to 60% by using certain frameworks over others!

Changing the development process midstream.

The development process is the key to success. It’s what you use to define, plan and execute your project. You need to make sure that everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve before starting on any activities related to it. If there is no agreement on the details of how you will build software (or anything else), then changes in requirements can quickly become disruptive for everyone involved and bring about delays or failures in meeting deadlines.

Working with a bad software development company

You may have heard of a few companies called “bad” or even “non-technical.” These are the companies that sell you a product, but don’t provide any support or updates. Why should you avoid working with them? First, if the company doesn’t care about your project or the customers who use it, why should you? Second, if they are not providing adequate technical support for their products, then what kind of business model do they have? Third and most importantly: how will your project fare if something goes wrong with it?

Assuming that you can fully automate your business process

Automation can be a great tool to help you automate parts of your business process, but it’s important to understand that automation is not always the best solution.

  • Automation can be expensive and time consuming to implement. You’ll need to invest in tools and technologies, hire employees who are trained in those tools and technologies, develop processes around them (e.g., writing scripts), train people on how they should use these new tools/technologies/processes etc. This may be difficult if your organization has never done this before or if there aren’t enough resources available within it right now—but once implemented successfully? Well then everyone will want more!
  • Automation has its limitations: If something goes wrong during execution then there’s no easy way for anyone involved with an automated workflow (from developer all the way down) which means real problems get left behind until someone figures out what happened and fixes things up again later down the road – at which point another person might have already moved onto another task so perhaps none of us know exactly what went wrong here either.

You can be successful without being technical, but you still need to know enough about software to avoid these mistakes.

The most important thing is to define requirements and goals. If you don’t have a clear vision for what the software will do and how it will work with other systems, then your team won’t be able to stay focused long enough for them all of their work together in an effective manner.

In addition, it’s extremely important not only when making decisions about technical solutions but also when considering scalability and long term maintenance costs that all parties involved in the project (including yourself) are included in those conversations early on so that everyone understands where they fit into the overall picture before anything gets started down this road!


These are just a few of the many mistakes non-technical people make when building software. There are plenty more, and we could keep going all day. But you get the point: non-technical people can sometimes be their own worst enemy when it comes to software development—so if you’re not a techie, take note!