Glaser (2003) strongly emphasized the difference between classic GT and ‘QDA’ (Qualitative Data Analysis). Similarly, I have always placed value on using the term CAQDAS – Computer Aided Qualitative Data AnalysiS – compared to QDA software (cf. Friese 2011). The term QDA software is easier on the lips, but it has been causing many misunderstandings. QDA software implies that the software is doing the analysis instead of being a tool aiding the researcher (who still must do the thinking). Automation is undoubtedly an issue these days, given the massive amounts of data available. But big data analysis is different from qualitative data analysis even if big data may consist of qualitative, i.e., non-numeric data (Friese 2016). Thus, we need to distinguish between the analysis of qualitative data and qualitative data analysis, whereby GT is a form of the latter. Knowing only one of the available packages may also lead to false conclusions. If, for instance, one was to try a GT analysis with QDA Miner, which is more apt to support deductive approaches, one can quickly become frustrated and might reject CAQDAS to be unsuitable for GT.
Another common pitfall is the translation of methodological steps to software functionality. Equating the GT open coding process with the function to apply codes in a software package can be troublesome. Another issue might be that some researchers do not resist the temptation to use CAQDAS for a quick but dirty analysis. But this is no different from studies that were analyzed manually. Morse et al. (2009) wrote that many studies refer to themselves as GT-based but aren’t true GT studies. This, however, is not a reason for rejecting GT as a methodological approach, nor should quick and dirty computer-assisted studies be a reason against the use of the software. As Strauss already said: Research is ‘hard work,’ and without working hard, neither a manual nor a computer-assisted analysis will result in a good piece of academic writing. Not all GT researchers of the first and second generation, though, condemn the use of the software. Corbin writes in the current issue of Basics of Qualitative Data Analysis: The computer has the ability "to augment the human mind by doing a lot of the detailed and tedious work involved in many endeavors, thus freeing up the user to be creative and thoughtful. And this is what computer programs do for qualitative analysis" (Corbin & Strauss 2015: Chapter 11, item 5207).
If you want to learn more about Grounded Theory coding, read the following book chapter: Grounded Theory Analysis and CAQDAS: A happy pairing or remodeling GT to QDA? published in the latest SAGE handbook: Current Developments in Grounded Theory.