How back does the history of software development go? Well, as back as the history of the formation of electronic devices. It all started with the first computer production. Because obviously that device also needed software to process and perform the functions. And that’s how the software development started decades and decades ago.
What exactly is software development? Actually, it is a planned initiative that starts in order to tackle the needs of some unique business or that can be made for personal objectives and goals as well. Software development consists of various stages that end on the creation of operational software. This development process aimed at forming computer coded software which involves programming language.
This process of creating software involves writing a series of interrelated programming code which acts as the backbone of the process. It actually provides the functionality of the developed software. Software development just doesn’t involve the production of software but the maintenance is also a very integral part of the process as well. Although that varies, because it is an optional step. If the software owners want to have the maintenance, they can ask for it.
Software development methodologies:
The software itself is a very complex product which needs a lot of steps to be done in the perfect manner to have a functional outcome. It is pretty obvious that developing software is not an easy task. And taking the whole team together is as difficult as the formation of the software itself. So a very systematic procedure is required to perform the function in the most synchronized way possible.
The software development life cycle actually lowers the cost of development. Not only that, but it also plays a very important role in improving the quality of the outcome while focusing on reducing the production time. However, the truth is, the process is never-ending. Even after the release of the software, there is always a space for additional features. Or even fixing of some existing bugs has to be tackled later on.
So there is always an update coming along with new features. The steps which will be discussed soon after are only the series of steps involved in the production of software at the very first time. The whole process of software development can be unique and specific for every software. But there are some basic steps which are the same in every process. And in software development life cycle, there are 7 main steps.
What is the goal of making the software? What are the possible problems whose solution we are working for? These are some of the main approaches which every developer has while deciding what they want to do. And what they want to achieve through their work. A whole process of research is done beforehand. And this research includes every segment of industry who will be involved in the software later on. So it includes every segment, like customers, stakeholders, owners, salespeople, market experts, programmers, and developing a team.
Once the objectives along with the problems of the present world are on the table, the main lead is to plan. This is the process of forming an outline which will help every person throughout the process. And the whole effort is being poured into the planning stage. Because if the team stick with the plan, there is a very high chance of success. So making an ideal plan to follow is the first step towards success. Here are some main points of the planning stage.
- Allocation of resources which includes the manpower and as well the money
- Scheduling of the project
- Estimating the cost beforehand
These are not the main steps only. Looking for the possible risks at the very start of the process defines the credibility of the developers. Obviously dealing with errors and bugs, later on, is the job of the developing team. But having a perspective of finding those errors before starting the practical work is very appreciative.
Well having the plan on your table is very helpful in all the coming phases. Like in defining the stage of requirements, it is really easy for the development team to look into the required material and things for the process. And then, later on, make it clear with the clients or improve it from the market experts. This step gives a clear image of the products going to be used in the process. And the clients get the idea of what to expect from the team.
Moving forward from the step of defining requirements is usually designing the prototype. Once the team knows what they are working with, making a visual representation is the next step. The architects try to come up with the best possible design which will complement the objectives completely. This is considered to be the first practical step of the process. So right after the formation of designs, the sample is submitted for review. And in usual firms, it is the call of the client to decide to move forward to redo the first step.
Developing or building:
Now it is the time of doing the most important task. It is the phase which involves all the real work. Developing and building is time to start developing the software. It involves the programming languages and as well the methodologies. So it is the developer’s choice of selecting any programming language they are comfortable with. Or they think will work the best with their approach. And the same goes for the methodologies. Agile or waterfall or any other, all of this is in hands of developers. And whatever they end up selecting has a major influence on the speed and the style of the work.
Once you have the prototype in front of you, it is the time for testing it. Before releasing or handing it over to the clients, the prototype goes through many processes in order to find out all the possible bugs, errors, defaults or defects in the software. And after that, all of those problems are taken care of properly before making it go through another round of testing. And the process goes on until it reaches the quality level of software developing team is looking for.
So the end product is ready now. It is the time of handing it over either to the client or releases it in the market. A very genius approach is to release it in a controlled environment first. And get the feedback before releasing it for the world. It will not only give you the mindset of people over your product. But it will also help you a lot deciding about the additional features or the changes you need to do. So after all of the formalities, it is the time of getting the reward of all the hard work.
Although it looks like once the software is released, it the end of the process. But the maintenance opens a whole new chapter. Actually, a never-ending chapter because it is the job of the developing team to keep the software updated along with working on the bugs all the time. So it keeps the process of software development alive throughout the life span of software.
Golden Rules for software development
It can be seen from the above mention discussion that one process cannot be considered universal. All the firms have their own way of working and dealing with them. But there are some golden rules of software development which might help you in forming fully functional software. So here is an overview of a few of them:
Focus on deployment:
Why are you working on anything if you are not the best in it? Well, you need to know this at least before deploying your end product of hard work of the whole team in front of the world. Getting the maximum result is what your team is looking forward to. So deploying it to all environments will be a safe cut. And it will actually help in bringing the best for the developers, as it possibly can. As this way of deployment does not go wrong more often.
Estimation can be considered as a key role in many main projects. But working with software development and estimation is a risky combination. When you are estimating, make it as small and precise as possible, and it can count as key. Because as small as it is, the more right it can be. But as said earlier, it is not the best approach as removing all the possibilities and uncertainties can only win the game 100%. And it is not practically possible, so making it as small as possible is the right thing to do.
Formation of Regression test:
Every developer makes mistakes here and there, but this can be taken care off. Like it is considered common for every error to resurface at least 2 times in the life span of the software. So forming an automated regression test will take care of common errors. That will include writing the test prior to fix the bug for the software.
Clarity in your head is the point:
Being precise and clear about anything is the Go Ahead to your mind about creating or implementing it. Whether it’s related to our daily life’s routine or work issues, decision making is always the foundation. If we talk particularly about the work related to software development thinking about the ideas and knowing about them is the key. Because if you’ll not have the knowledge of the content of ideas, you’ll not be able to decide.
According to Phillip G. Armour’s “The Laws of Software Process”, developing software is basically about discovering new and fresh knowledge about any given problem. And for that analyzing the problem is the first step which clears the path for the problem-solving procedure.
Expressing the code is particularly the main focus for all the knowledge and thinking process because solving the problem can only be done by the latter and in other words, it’s a challenge both at the macro or minor level.
Know your User:
For any software developer, his or her user is always a priority. Because at the end of the day it’s the satisfaction of person using the software that’s of importance. As in many known fields, targeting user is the initial and most important step to follow. Because your whole further steps depend upon it. For that knowing your user is the key. For example, if you’re programming for a company, codes can be of more high level and if your user is a commoner then you must keep your work simple and easy to understand.
There are two steps for summarizing your user’s Knowledge, which is analyzing and Anticipating. In the very step as you analyze the user’s mind and needs anticipating goes parallel because analyzing is knowledge. And guessing your user’s coming needs is anticipating eventually helping your project to be more user-friendly.
Feedback is the Key:
Looking for advice helps in every way a human can think of. And for a developer in particular knowledge of others is always as good as learning new stuff. The only ability you need for this to happen is just to remain open-minded. And being ever ready for criticism either positive or negative.
Because of codes style and tools for it changing every day just like our language. Holding onto yourself for changes in your programming would help a great deal. And as for a fact we humans get tired of things very easily. So the development industry also looks for improvements every day.
Coming across an era of new requirements and needs all the time, every person moves here and there looking forward to modern and beneficial inventions all the time. This can cause him to become more critical of things than he ever was. So the responsibility falls onto the shoulders of the developer for healthy outcomes. And for that, he has to be acceptable of everything coming his way.
Follow the Path& Patterns:
For software developer patterns used in his codes can maybe cause headache in the user’s mind sometimes. But as a matter of fact, it’s the path which gives way to the end result and that’s what matters.
There are many solved patterns to be used by programmers. This can help any other programmer as well as the user itself to find out and learn from it. And this is the best way to do things but there are some who don’t use the patterns. And make their own patterns for the programming they want to do.
Testing the outcome:
There are many of the developers who may think that coding is the most critical aspect of Software development. But actually, it’s the testing and getting to know about the design. Unit tests are more productive than smoke tests. This gives a precautionary option to the developer throughout the process.
As many of us would think that testing is like a walk in the park. But it’s not, It’s an essential step which if not taken seriously. It can cause problems in a way where the while formula of coding can come out wrong at the deploying and implementing time
Specifically focusing upon the flaws can help the developer to analyze the unwanted things. And developing more wanted things countering the critics facing situation keeping in view the user’s point of the framework of needs.
Enhancing the problems after the creation of the original design of coding can take as much time as the initial steps. And it’s of great importance.
Sometimes the new required code may not fit into the initial design. But maintaining it is the key. People find bugs and other viruses to be an essential part of the maintenance procedure. And it’s to some extent but on whole maintenance is not just about it. According to many Well Known programmers, Minting software is about finding, exploring and solving new things which aren’t even just related to the old or initial work.
Communication and Planning:
In our world communication is the key behind everything and following that planning, everything helps the cause. Technology is, in fact, an outcome of communication itself. And as we know software development is the part n parcel of the former. These both terms actually focuses upon consistency for better results
For example, if a developer has used three or four different layers of data access with inputs of another developer. And thinking behind it would be largely depending upon different ideas. For containing this problem developers are taught and advised to form a better line of communication between the members of the group. So, in the end, there shall not too much of a gap between the layers eventually falling negatively upon the result.
As many people say knowledge is power. But as nowadays power is technology. Hence keeping these golden rules of software development in mind will not just help you in building your software. But a proper functional software. And that is the outcome which is going to pay off all of your hard work in the end.