Introduction to the Software Development Process

Business, Technology
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Technology has penetrated all areas of human life. Cutting-edge software solutions make life easier, serving our daily needs, performing complex calculations, and providing prompt access to the information and services we need. The population’s keenness for software and a highly competitive business environment have caused companies to digitize their workflow and customer support, to serve customers in a faster and more personalized way than ever before.

Many large companies use tailor-made software, but few know how it is developed and what processes make it function. For those who don’t work in the IT industry, software product development is a mysterious and incredibly complex process.

Most people only care about the end product, but some business owners and managers are curious about how their apps and websites are assembled. The brief guide gives you a layman’s overview of the software development process.

7 Software Development Stages

1. Planning
A well-thought-out strategy is half the battle. At the first stage, software engineers discuss the following details with a product manager and a project manager:

  • Deadlines
  • Required human and material resources
  • Costs
  • Resource provision

This stage lays out the basis for the overall success of the project. A poorly-developed strategy can have a detrimental effect on the outcomes of all the ensuing steps.

2. Requirements Analysis
In custom software development, programmers need to constantly keep in mind the client’s goals for creating a product that will benefit their business. Communication with company stakeholders and the staff that will use the finished product is vital.

It is the project manager’s job to collect detailed information on the tasks and workflow that need to be automated or optimized with the new software. They listen to the issues faced by developers during daily operations and solicit suggestions for improvement. In Agile methodology, this stage is completed by compiling a backlog of tasks.

3. Design and Prototyping
Developers use standard templates and frameworks to implement a basic concept that will be further refined and customized. Reusable architecture and standardized patterns can save significant time, since the team does not need to write all the code from scratch. Design documentation that lists the modules and schemes used is compiled at the end of this stage.

4. Programming
Software engineers tailor a previously assembled codebase to unique project requirements. The team can approach the client with intermediate results obtained in short sprints (Agile methodology) or with a final result that has all the necessary functionality and is ready for testing (Waterfall methodology).

5. Testing
Separate units and the overall system are tested for all types of bugs. QA engineers ensure there are no issues to hinder the software’s security and optimal performance. Most testing operations are automated today, but some aspects still require human control.

6. Deployment
The working software is released to production.

7. Maintenance
The software development agency provides ongoing support and implements updates as needed.

Each team has its own unique preferences and workflow, and there are many ways to approach the software development process. The traditional seven-stage formula is based on industry best practices and the collective experience of the global programmer community. It serves as a foundation for all methodologies, and can be modified to meet the needs and preferences of individual software development teams.

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