Most Common Tech Mistakes Detected by our Software Scan

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Today more than ever technology is central to business operations, thus understanding the common mistakes in software development is crucial for any tech organization. Our experience as a technology due diligence and source code scanning specialists reveals recurring errors that can compromise the security, scalability, and sustainability of software. Let's delve into the most common mistakes our software scan often uncovers.

Most Common Tech Mistakes Detected by our Software Scan
Most common tech mistakes detected by our software scan
Table of contents

Neglecting Proactive Cybersecurity Measures

In an era of escalating cyber threats, the importance of proactive cybersecurity cannot be overemphasized. So, it is surprising that our software scan often highlights that many companies adopt a reactive rather than proactive stance towards cybersecurity. A key finding is the heavy reliance on penetration testing (or 'pen tests'), which, while valuable, only offers a snapshot of the system's vulnerabilities at a specific moment in time.

The failure to integrate cybersecurity measures throughout the development lifecycle is a significant mistake. This often results in vulnerabilities being hard baked into the system, making them challenging to rectify post-deployment. A more effective strategy is to use code scans early and throughout the development process. These scans reveal vulnerabilities not immediately apparent to human reviewers and anticipate future risks, which allows for early remediation and proactive cybersecurity.

Underutilizing Automated Testing

Automated testing plays a critical role in ensuring the scalability and maintainability of software systems. However, underutilization of automated testing is a common mistake spotted by our software scan. Many companies either neglect automated tests or treat them as future enhancements. As a result, these tests are conducted sporadically, or only in reaction to emergencies, leading to a fragile codebase prone to bugs and errors.

Regular automated tests quickly identify issues introduced by recent changes, allowing for prompt fixing. Thus, from a scalability perspective, automated tests ensure that the system can handle increased loads without compromising performance. Additionally, a healthy ratio of test files versus source code can give investors confidence in the scalability and maintainability of the software systems.

Mismanaging Open-Source Software Risks

Open-source software (OSS) brings immense benefits, including rapid development and cost savings. However, it also presents unique challenges that require diligent management. One common mistake is the mismanagement of copyleft components. These components are prevalent in approximately 96% of all our source code scans, with around 86% potentially presenting contamination risks, such as intellectual property infringement, forced source code disclosure, and even litigation.

Many tech companies underestimate or misunderstand the implications of copyleft components in their codebase. Due diligence and proper OSS risk management strategies can help businesses navigate OSS benefits while mitigating associated risks. This approach is critical for assuring potential investors of the long-term stability of their investment.

Encountering Knowledge Distribution Risk

Another critical but often overlooked aspect of software development is the equitable distribution of knowledge within a team. Knowledge distribution risk surfaces when only a handful of developers understand critical parts of the codebase, causing bottlenecks and placing an enormous strain on key team members.

This risk becomes apparent during our software scan when we encounter sections of the codebase that are complex and lacking in comprehensive documentation. When this knowledge is concentrated in the minds of a few developers and not effectively shared or documented, companies face significant operational risk. This risk is especially high if these developers were to leave the company. 

To mitigate this, businesses should strive for thorough code documentation and encourage knowledge sharing among team members. Regular code reviews and pair programming are practices that not only distribute knowledge more evenly but also help in spotting mistakes and improving code quality.

While using multiple programming languages can provide flexibility and enable the selection of the best tool for each job, it also introduces a layer of complexity. In some instances, our software scans uncover a high diversity of programming languages, which can lead to various issues.

A large variety of programming languages within a single project can pose challenges in maintaining code, managing dependencies, and debugging. It also requires that team members have knowledge across all used languages, which can be an unrealistic expectation, especially in smaller teams.

Although the use of diverse languages isn't necessarily a mistake, companies should carefully consider their tech stack's diversity and balance it against their team's capacity and the project's requirements.


In addition to proactive cybersecurity, robust automated testing, and diligent OSS risk management, addressing knowledge distribution risk, and managing programming language diversity are integral to successful software development.

By paying attention to these often-overlooked aspects, companies can further improve the security, scalability, and sustainability of their software systems. Uncovering and rectifying these common mistakes not only safeguards the software, but also boosts potential investor confidence. In the long run, these practices contribute to more robust and resilient software products that stand the test of time.

In essence, leveraging tools like software scanning helps in gaining a comprehensive view of a codebase's health, allowing teams to spot and fix common tech mistakes early and proactively. This approach is instrumental in guiding tech organizations towards achieving their software development goals.



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Marine Yborra CMO Vaultinum
Marine YborraMarine is our Marketing Director. She is a branding and brand activation specialist with international experience in BtoB and BtoC.

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