When the time comes to develop a new software or re-create & re-invent an old one, a person couldn’t help but ask, how should I do it right this time? No matter what kind of software you aim to develop or what type of programming languages and techniques you will be using, there are basic steps spanning across them all, knowing these in advance will be very helpful, in ways you can not imagine.
Whether you are a technical guy, or you are simply a business guy and you want to unleash whatever has been crawling in your mind as the next big thing, here are the steps the development cycle should include, so make sure whoever is executing your project will be abiding by them.
Software Development Process Steps
The software development cycle consists of several steps, though these might be a bit different depending on the software development methodology you are following, these are some steps that tend to be received as a general approach for the mentioned cycle:
1- Steps Before Software Development
Before you start anything in life, whether it is a personal decision and move or a professional project, planning is almost always key! Here are the software development planning steps that you should follow:
- Write down your requirements.
- What kind of data should be in and what kind of data should that software be producing.
- Who is your target audience?
- Is this product really useful? Why? How to validate that?
This stage usually ends up with a final requirements specification document or a software blueprint, this kind of documents will be the roadmap for it all, especially the design of the product, aka step number 2.
2- Software Development Design Steps
Once you have laid out your plans, you and the development team should start designing every element that should go in or out of the software development process. This includes:
- The programming languages or techniques and tools that would suit this project best.
- The UI/UX design, here you might choose to roll out an initial sprint just to test those in specific even before your product is fully functional!
- The flow of the processes from the moment a user starts using the software to the moment he exits it.
This stage might require lots of going back and forth between you and a sample of your potential audience and might include early necessary feedback, or (if you prefer) it might just include mockups to be validated later after the project is done and released (Not recommended).
3- Software Development Coding & Programming Steps
This stage is usually the one that consumes most of the software development cycle time, however, outsourcing can save you time and money (in this step in particular)! Of course, each programmer has his own way of doing things, and each development team has his own favorite software development management methodology, for example, we at Transcend prefer Scrum.
Scrum allows you to interfere and change things around in every stage as you see proper without having to go through the software development cycle all over again, saving you some very needed resources.
4- Software Development Testing & Deployment
There are many different ways of testing depending on the development team and what they prefer, for example, if your team is going with Scrum, then they will probably be testing things in every stage and in every step of the way, way before the product and its units are fully ready.
However, generally speaking, things more or less go like this:
- Unit Testing: Where every unit of the product is tested on its own and bugs get fixed.
- Integration Testing: Where all units will be integrated together to form the one big product you want, and the overall flow of things between the different units will be tested and bugs will be fixed, might as well test how the product would do when interacting with other external units and software.
- Validation Testing: Where the developed product will be tested against the original requirements, and will also be tested by the client to detect any glitches and get feedback.
5- Deployment & Maintenance
After testing is almost done with, the software will be ready for the beta phase, where it will be rolled out to users to get their feedback.
Afterward, and once all feedback is taken into consideration and once the product is smooth and bugs-free, come the time for the actual start!
The actual start here means your product is ready to use, and you just need to give it to the users based on your business plan, whether for free or not. You also need to figure out the maintenance process, such as: how to keep your software updated, how it can comply with third part new updates such as operating systems updates and all …. etc.
All of the above require attention and skills and time and money. Here, outsourcing can come in handy to give you a shortcut, sparing you from having to get involved deeply in all of the steps above in an away that could drive you nuts! Give us a call today, and stay sane.