May 232019

What is Software Development?

Software development is defined as a process where the client's business needs or market requirements are transformed into a software product. It includes extensive Research and Development (R&D) of project objectives. These software products are programmed codes written in various programming languages.

The software development process revolves around five core ideas. They are conceptualization, design, development, test, and deployment. These are surrounded by designing, code generation, analysis, project management, alterations, software, and development. Every software development company carries its' own focus of expertise. ISO 12207 is responsible for choosing, executing, and observing the software development stages, prominently known as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). ISO 9000 is utilized in the processes of documentation management. ISO 9001:2015 is responsible for accurate process improvements and assurance to customer's statutory and regulatory requirements (Quality Management Systems). ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 specifies the design, transition, delivery, and improvement of service requirements for customers. ISO/IEC 27001:2013 states the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and constantly improving an information security management system within the sidelines of the organization. ISO 15504 is executed in administration, management, guidelines provision and even software development.

Now what? Go through the 5 stages of Software Development. They are:

1) Requirement gathering and analysis – The first most crucial stage, you understand your client's business requirements, goals, and limitations faced. Project managers, stakeholders, and customers interact and determine the major requirements. This information is critical to developing the product the customer requests. Who shall use the system/ software product? How are they going to use it? What sort of inputs are desired for? And, what should be predicted output? So, after gathering up these requirements, they are extensively studied to incorporate them in the Design process. The Testing team follows the Software testing Lifecycle and starts test planning after gathering the requirements and analyzing them.

2) Design – In this phase, the overall system architecture is designed. The specifications defining the hardware and system requirements are incorporated into system design. Here, a detailed description is laid out to solve the problems. Input, output, databases, forms, codification schemes, and processing specifications are structured in detail. Parametric such as data structure, control process, equipment source, system limitations, interfaces, documentation, training, and taking back-ups are decided at this stage. To systemically formulate the system design, tools and techniques that are used are Flowchart, Data flow diagram, Data dictionary, Decision table, and Decision tree.

3) Development – Actual coding starts here. Work gets distributed into modules/ units after specified documents are received. This is the most time-consuming phase for the developer since they are completely engaged in coding. Developers write unit tests for each component to test the new code that they have written, review each other’s code, create builds and deploy software to an environment. This cycle is repeated until the requirements are met.

4) Testing – This stage is responsible for identifying defects and foresee if the designed software product works as expected of it. This should be on par with the pre-requisites of the requirements gathering stage. Either test script or exploratory testing can be executed for testing. The software product is tested in line with the requirements to ensure that the customer's business needs are addressed, gathered during the requirement phase. All types of testing such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Once the tester identifies the defect, this is redirected to the developer who in turn makes appropriate changes. This shall be repeated until all the requirements have been tested and all defects have been fixed.

5) Deployment & Maintenance – Now that testing has been done, it is deployed to the customer for use. After the customer receives the software product, beta testing is done. If any errors or bugs are found or any necessary changes are required, the engineering team makes these changes and final deployment is done. Once a version of the software is released to production, there is usually a maintenance team that looks after any post-production issues. If a problem is encountered in production the development team is informed and depending on how severe the problem is, it might either require a quick-fix which is created and shipped in a short period of time or it can wait until the next version of the software is designed and created.

Remember this: software development comes with a better team, appropriate planning and constant inquiries of upcoming problems.