Presently software is ruling the world. Most people worldwide are using computers, and thus, web applications and software are in demand already. So, the software development guide is reasonably necessary every day, especially for people from the IT sector.


Software Development

With software, professionals and businesses around the globe are getting lots of advantages.

In fact, the software has created a revolution in every sector like nuclear plans, transportation, electrical grids, food delivery, and anything that includes some basics of life. Software development life cycle has a solution for everything.

What is software?

Software is a group of data, instructions, and programs for operating computer devices and executing specific tasks. Moreover, it is opposite to hardware, which is actually the physical aspect of a computer.

Software is a term for referring to scripts, applications, and programs that move on a device. Moreover, it is actually like the variable portion of a computer, the hardware being the invariable part.

The software consists of the whole set of procedures, programs, and routines that helps a computer system operate. However, these are instructions that guide a computer hardware to execute a task termed a program, or, software program.

Multimedia content development is a prime result of software now-a-days.

Types of Software System

Software has many categories and sub-groups but mainly, it has three main groups based on their application and use.

The System Software

System software is also termed the operating system or OS. It is the program that your computer utilizes for translating input commands into a language that the machine understands. In addition, it is the operating system that controls the computer’s hardware parts. 

Some examples of famous OS of personal computers are Windows Operating System from Microsoft, MAC Operating System from Apple MacBook, and Ubuntu, Linux-based. The web servers utilize Apache OS, and the UNIX OS is there to build the proprietary systems. 

Application Software

This application is helpful for most people to perform tasks on smartphones and computers. In other words, the most common examples of such types are internet browsers, processing applications, media players, anti-virus, photo editors, and a SAS (software-as-service) product. 

Programming Languages

These are simply the programming languages for creating software. It is that weapon of coders for creating programs. Examples of some programming languages are C++, Java, PHP, and Simlab.


What is Software Development?

Software development is a process that software developers and programmers utilize for developing computer programs.

This whole process is also termed as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It includes multiple phases, which provide a full-proof way to build products: products that meet user needs, technical specifications, and user requirements.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Software Development Life cycle assures a standard internationally accepted by software companies for developing and improving their computer programs. 

Above all, it has a defined structure for the developer to design and follow for creating and maintaining some high-quality software. After all, the motive of an IT software development project is building effective, user-friendly products that have a definite timeline and budget.  

This is how a software is developed.

Software Development Process (from SDLC)


Among various steps and procedures, there are six major steps in the software development process.

Software Development Life Cycle Phases are as follows:


1. Identification of the need


That’s kind of brainstorming and market research. Things start from here only. Before actually building it, a software company needs assurance and marketing research to see if it’s actually practical and user-friendly or not. 

The developers identify the services and functions the software can provide to its target audience.  Something that aims to get the most out of it. There are multiple ways of doing it, like taking feedback from customers and surveys. 

The software company itself should check the calculations, strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses of its future product. Only if the product plan is approved, the software development process starts. 

For example, there is a need for e-commerce solution because people today prefer online shopping.

2. Analysis of the requirement


This is the second stage of the software development life cycle. The stakeholders get to see the detailed outline of the plan and components. The user requirements and technical things are shown, along with the proposed product with goals. 

This phase helps to decide the developer’s work and testing parameters for a quality product. Like, if it’s an AR Furniture App, the results of such an app must be well-defined from both ends. 

The stage includes all users, developers, testers, quality assurance, and project managers. In addition, the programmers choose the software development approach. The team records the implementation stages for the possible outcome. 


3. The design part

The third stage is the design. In this phase, developers and product architects draw the advanced technical specifications for the software requirements. Also, the stakeholder gets a chance to discuss the team composition, risk levels, technologies, budget, time, limitations of the project, architectural design, and the whole method. For example, Multimedia content development has a lot of design in it.

This phase has a design specification document with the design of the architect, communication, components, front-end representations, and the user flow of that proposed product. In addition, this step is a template for developers and testers to reduce delays and flaws in the final product.

Some software is used for noble jobs. So, something like volunteer management software should be strong enough to provide the base. 

4. The development and the implementation


The fourth stage is the development and the implementation. This is regarding the design parameters. Finally, the software engineers start coding based on the product requirements and specifications set from the previous stages. 

They follow the company guidelines and procedures. If it’s an essential app like the U-Report app, they instantly take precautions for sensitive information. Front-end developers create the interfaces and the back-ends. On the other hand, database admins have the responsibility of creating relevant data for the database. The programmers too review and test the codes among each other. 

After completing the coding, the software engineers deploy that product into an environment for the implementation stage. Similarly, this is done for testing a pilot version of that program. Again, that helps to match the performance and requirements together.

5. Testing phase


The testing phase is now there to check for bugs in the software. It further verifies the performance too. It is essential before delivering it to the customers. The testers who are experts check the product’s functions and make sure that it is performing based on the requirement analysis document of the previous phases. 

However, the testers apply advanced testing if they have the experience like a test script for validating the actual performance of the portions of the software. They convey the code defects to the developer. If the developer confirms that the flaws are indeed valid, they take charge of improving the program. Also, testers get to repeat the process until the software is bug-free and runs according to the set requirements. 

Projects like 7th March Speech in VR need a long phase of testing.

6. The deployment and maintenance

After the software is declared defect-free, the developers are allowed to release it for the customers. After removing the software’s production version, an IT software company forms a maintenance team that can manage clients who are using the product.

The maintenance team can be a bit difficult, so most software failures are indeed getting an update. So, even outsourcing such work has reliability today.

Software Development Methodology (SDLC models)


Different software development life cycle models are there to follow during the software development process. These models come under software development methodology or Software Development Process Models.

Therefore, every process model has a series of unique steps for its type for ensuring success in the software development process. 

Here are the most important and famous SDLC models followed in the industry −

  • The Waterfall Model
  • The Iterative Model
  • The Spiral Model
  • The V-Model
  • The Big Bang Model

In addition, other related methodologies are Agile Model, RAD Model, Rapid Application Development and Prototyping Models.

Here are the most useful and important SDLC models which are followed in the whole industry:

The Waterfall Model – SDLC

The first process Model which was introduced is the Waterfall Model. It is also termed as a linear-sequential life cycle model. It’s easy to use and understand. In such a model, every phase should be completed individually before the next step starts. That is, there is no scope for overlapping in those phases. 

This is the earliest SDLC approach used for software development. 

This waterfall model does a great job of illustrating a linear sequential flow of the software development process. In other words, any single phase of the whole development process starts only after the ending of the previous step. There is no overlapping anywhere.

The iterative model – SDLC


In this iterative model, the iterative process starts with the implementation of some software requirements. Then, that iteratively increases the versions evolving until the complete system’s performance and ready for deployment. 

This iterative life cycle model doesn’t have the intention of starting with complete specified requirements. Instead of that, the development begins with the implementation and specification of some part of the software. Which is later reviewed for identifying the different conditions. After that, the process gets repeated and produces a new version of that software to finish every iteration of that model. 

The spiral model – SDLC


The spiral model’s task is to combine the iterative development idea with the controlled and systematic parts of the waterfall model. In other words, the spiral model is a union of the iterative development process model and the waterfall model- the sequential linear development model. 

It includes a high emphasis on the analysis of the risk. That gives way to incremental releases of the product or a gradual refinement with each iteration around the spiral. 


V Model – SDLC

As the name suggests, this SDLC model executes processes sequentially, similar to a V-shape. That is also termed as the verification and validation model.

Actually, the V-Model is the extension of the waterfall model itself. That is based on the inclusion of a testing phase for each corresponding development phase. So, it means that there is a testing phase that is associated directly with every single part of the development cycle. The model is highly disciplined, and the later stage begins only after the previous step ends.  

Big Bang Model – SDLC

This SDLC model, called Big Bang Model, doesn’t have any specific process to follow. 

The development phase begins with the needed money and efforts based on the input. On the other hand, the output is basically the software developed, which may or may not be as per the customer’s requirement. All in all, the big bang model doesn’t have a procedure or process. The need for planning is very little here. 

In fact, even the customer doesn’t have an exact clue of what he wants. The requirements are implemented with less analysis. 

Actually, this model is for small projects. Where the development teams are pretty small. 

Agile Model – SDLC

The Agile SDLC model is a union of incremental and iterative process models. For instance, with a focus on the adaptability of the process and the satisfaction of the customer. That takes place through quick delivery of an excellent working software product. 

Actually, the agile method takes charge of breaking the product into some small incremental builds. Those builds are provided in iterations. Every iteration usually has a lifetime of one to three weeks. In addition, every iteration has cross-functional teams that work at once in different areas. 

The Agile model understands that each project has different needs. The presently existing methods need tailoring for suiting the best project requirements. For instance, the tasks are divided into small time frames for delivering specific features for a release. 

The iterative approach is applied, and a working software build is there after every iteration. Above all, every build is incrementally featured. The final build has every feature that the customer needs.

RAD Model – SDLC

RAD (Rapid Application Development) is all about prototyping and iterative development. That doesn’t have any specific planning. In other words, the software writing process itself has the planning needed for product development. 

It focuses on gathering customer requirements with the help of focus groups and workshops. Then, the iterative concept is executed by testing the prototypes early. That also includes reusing the existing prototypes/components, constant integration, and quick delivery. 

All in all, RAD is a practical software development methodology. The reason is simple. It utilizes minimum planning for rapid prototyping. Also, the prototype is functionally equal to a product’s component. 

In this RAD model, functional modules are developed and found in parallel as prototypes. Also, integrated for creating a completed product for swift delivery. As there is less detailed pre-planning. The changes are applied easily in the development phase itself. 

The projects of RAD follow an incremental and iterative model. They also have minor domain experts, developers, different IT resources, and customer representatives who work on their prototype or component.

In addition, the critical aspect of this type of model, which makes it successful, is making sure that the developed prototypes are reusable. 



Software Prototype Model – SDLC

Software prototyping is about developing the software app prototypes that present the product’s functionality that is under development. However, it may not hold or represent the exact same logic as the leading original software.

This software prototyping is getting famous as a software development model. Above all, it is excellent at understanding the customer requirements at a very early phase of the development. It generates valuable customer feedback. In addition, this is a great help for the software developers and designers to get an idea of what should be given to the target audience.

The prototype, with some limited functionality, is a software working model. It doesn’t hold the exact logic of the software, but it is considered an extra effort in the effort estimations.

Prototyping basically allows the target audience to develop proposals and try them out before the implementation. It also has the target to get user-specific reviews that were not under the developer’s consideration during the development.


Types of Software Development


The software mainly implies something complicated and complex in our minds. However, not only developers and software engineers but people from all spheres interact daily. For instance, when you run an application on your phone or speak to Alexa and send an email, you actually work with any type of software. The same is the case with a computer device.

In fact, the digital marketing industry is itself growing based on software development, to some extent.

However, although we use some form of software every day, there are actually more versions. Some basic understanding of how the version works can always be helpful for your plan or your probable business. 

Since the demand for software developers is becoming high day by day, the work diversity is also the same. 

In addition, in case you want to develop skills as a software engineer, you are going to get more opportunities in multiple software development areas.

Here are the principle types of software development:

Mobile Development

A mobile developer builds apps that can run on mobile devices. Sometimes, that may include tablets, smartphones, and some smartwatches too. The professionals are usually good in either Android or iOS development and not both in mobile app development.

However, it is actually possible to develop apps in two operating systems. But most companies prefer working with engineers who are experienced in any one of them. The reason is simple. They have higher chances of being the specialized ones. 

They know more about the problems, practical applications, including the frameworks, tools, and languages. On the other hand, the one who works in both might not be that swift and perfect.

Web Development

Web development is the procedure of developing web apps. Everyone uses multiple apps through internet browsers on various devices. That’s different from a mobile application, which runs on a tablet or phone and doesn’t have an internet connection all the time.

Web development term both includes the front and backend development. However, many professionals are also full-stack web developers.  

Desktop Development

Desktop developers enjoy creating apps for a desktop operating system. That includes Mac, Windows, or Linux. However, that is different from the apps that run on tablets, mobile, or other devices. 

This specialization was more common in the initial days of programming, even before mobile application days. But, they do have a space in the present web development scenario too. 

Application Development


Here comes the original form of programming. 

Application development is the core process of developing a computer program or a row of programs that assist the everyday functions of a business or the target user. 

Mainly, a developer needs to know these languages- C/C++, Python, C#, VB.NET, Java.

Data Science

The new gold is data. Large data sets need capable hands to know what to do with them. Data scientists here play a crucial role in getting out the data for creating value. 

They crush large data sets, with some cluster-computing approach mostly, to develop a scientific app based on the findings of the data.

The final apps are thus cool. That is friendly to machines as well because devices need large amounts of data to learn.

Database Development

This is not about the database admin, who works on the database daily for maintaining it. A proper database developer is there to develop the database, modify and design the new or existing programs, and ensure the user requirements. 


However, in some cases the duties of developer and database admin do overlap. But, that totally depends on the employer and client needs.

Software Tools development


This is important for the software development industry, although not all consumers use it. Besides just testing, this software ensures that the codes of other developers meet the industry standards and are maintainable. 

Now, to actually develop a program to test other programs is not an easy job. Still, big tech companies like Google and Microsoft hire software developers for designing apps to test other running projects. 

For this, you mainly need to know C++, Java, Python.

Back-End Development


The tasks and work which go behind the scenes are called back-end development. It makes sure that the front-end is running fine on your computer.

The data is stored in the back-end, also called the server-side. It mainly has three parts- an application, a server, and a database.

So, the back-end developer needs to have knowledge of database, architecture, and server programming languages. If an app crashes, slows down, or displays errors, then the issue is at the back-end.

All in all, database management is the pillar of back-end development. A Fantasy Sports App is something which needs a strong back-end feature. Also, it is the prime aspect of any other system holding large amounts of data—for instance, a client database of a company like Facebook. There, more than 1 billion user details need organization. Back-end developers do this. 

These are the skills needed for back-end development: Java, Python, C and C++, dBase, MySQL, Oracle for databases.

Front-End development

The part of the product where the user interacts is the job of fronted developers. It mainly concerns the user interface (UI). They can develop the visual aspects, layout, interactive elements of the app or website. Although their work differs from that of a user experience designer/UI designer. With that, they fix bugs, ensuring that the UI can run on different browsers. 

The front-end developers are practical programmers. They work with the back-end developers from time to time and ensure that the two sides of the product function productively.

Full stack development

A full-stack developer has the job on every aspect of the product, including the back-end and front-end. He must have the skills of solid programmers to be a successful full-stack developer. 

Not only that, but some soft skills are also necessary, like critical thinking and problem-solving. Like, finally, a full stack developer and the team is responsible for creating that complete product. 

Embedded systems development

Since the world is getting connected to the internet more, embedded system development has been born. This software group is all about the coding skills necessary for embedded systems such as Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, Beaglebones, etc.  This embedded software has a specialization for that particular software on which your device or machine runs. 

Skills and knowledge for this: Assembler, Embedded C, Arduino, Python, Java

API development


Application Programming Interfaces or API development is actually the specialization of developing something expandable. In other words, the programs that developers build act as such a puzzle piece, through various operating systems, on mobile, desktop, and web. In addition, they allow some third-party developers to work with the functions and tools that the API is related to.

Similarly, API development is the foundation laying of standard types, procedures, GUI interaction models, tools, and database access rules that developers building some other applications may use for that specific API. 

Skills: APIs are there written for particular functions and platforms, and every API has the programming language of the device, service, platform, or site it’s designed for. 

Cloud computing

Cloud computing surrounds programs, services, and apps that run and perform over the cloud. That is, they can be approached remotely, from any location. The condition is that the user must have an internet connection with an appropriate login. It has a lot of benefits. Scalability is one of them. 

Some developers are experts in cloud computing. This means the creation of cloud platforms. 

Security software development

This type of software field is very essential and critical. It is about the white-hat ethical hackers. They work with cybersecurity experts for the betterment of organizations and their data and systems. 

The cybersecurity team builds software that keeps significant company assets safe from hacking and basically away from theft, malicious attacks, and viruses. The pentester, or in other words, penetration tester, hacks in the system to identify the weaknesses. They are the opponents of black-hat real hackers and save your essential data from them. 

Skills and knowledge: programming languages that go with the system which need testing. 

DevOps engineering


DevOps is a group of philosophies and practices focusing on efficient, quick, and customer-friendly software delivery. Software teams and developers around the world have adopted this style of software. 

The DevOps engineers work with the team practicing the principles. They have a significant role in developing and quality assurance testing of the product until the eventful deployment. So, they need to have a series of skills like integration, programming, scripting, QA testing, etc. They need to have a good sense of teamwork. The reason is, they have to work closely to support the whole team. That team might include QA professionals and software developers too.

Game Development

The art of developing games describing the development process, design, and release is called game development itself. This involves design, coding, building, concept generation, testing, and then finally releasing it.

A game developer can be a sound designer, programmer, artist/designer, or another professional from the industry. So, game development is a mixture of many different talents. 

Software Development Company

As the name suggests, a software development company is the power and hub to launch and build software. 

This is the leading powerhouse where people from all sectors, needed and possible for great software, gather together to achieve technological success. 

The best part is that they are all professionals, so their dedication to the work they do mostly knows no bounds.

The Software Development tools

There is a massive demand for software development tools. In other words, the reason is, the industry of software is one of the biggest and the fastest growing industries.

Software development tools are programs used to maintain, debug, create and support other software and applications. 

One can get both free and paid software development tools. Although the free tools mostly have limited features. 

There are many forms of software development tools.

Some of the useful software development tools are:

  • Github
  • Codepen
  • Gleek
  • Cloud9 IDE
  • Buddy
  • Bootstrap
  • Atom
  • Azure
  • HTML5 builder
  • Axure


Software development engineer

A software engineer is a professional. Who applies the software engineering principles for designing, developing, maintaining, testing, and evaluating computer software. That person might also have AR/VR/MR Solutions.

A software engineer is a professional whose primary work is applying software engineering principles to develop, design, test, maintain, and evaluate computer software.

It can also be termed a computer programmer, a coder who develops computer software. The “computer programmer” term can be used for a person specializing in a single area of computers or even a general engineer who can write codes for multiple software types. 


The Software Development Manager

A software development manager is a person responsible for the coordination of the whole team and the client. That individual is someone who allocates the resources and streamlines the process. In addition, it is the job of a software manager to ensure that the deliverables are met within a given deadline. 

However, a manager can also play a more specific role depending on the project scope. Still, the main focus is controlling the software development process.


Conclusion

The process of software development life cycle is a continuous one due to the changing technologies. 

With the development being more frequent and advanced day by day, it is an essential duty of developing software. Not only that, with the advancement of the internet, anyone today can learn anything online just like you did from this guide!

Originally published June 21, 2021 - 6:49 pm, updated October 10, 2021