In our modern world, there seems to be a technological solution for virtually every challenge we face. For a software solution to be properly planned and architected, however, it requires an effective methodology driven by proven practices.
What is Software Development?
Software development refers to many aspects including creating specifications, designing, programming, and application testing. The three main types of software are:
- Application software
- System software
- Programming software
The Software Development Lifecycle
In software development, there are various phases of design and project management. The software development life cycle can be outlined as follows:
- Planning. By collecting inputs from the client, industry experts, market surveys, etc., senior team members will gain the information necessary to draft the basic concept for the project.
- Defining Requirement Analysis. After the basic concept is prepared, the next step is determining the product requirements and getting approval from the client.
- Designing the Product Architecture. After the client approves the product requirements, the software team constructs the product architecture under which it will be developed.
- Developing the Product. At this stage, the software developers generate the code following the project requirements and guidelines. Developers have a variety of language options and frameworks available to create user-friendly software, including C, C++, C#, TypeScript, etc.
- Testing the Product. To ensure success, each application and module within the project is checked and any errors or issues, if detected, are documented and fixed.
- Deployment. Once the software has been tested and approved, it is ready to be formally launched.
Software Development Methodologies
Although there are many different types of software methodologies, the two most popular methodologies in use today are agile and waterfall development.
Agile Development Methodology
The Agile methodology focuses on improving the client’s experience through the development process. It provides a theoretical outline that is constantly reviewed and evaluated to minimize the risk of bugs, cost overruns, and changing requirements. A significant advantage of this approach is that changes can be adapted quickly. Some drawbacks are that there is no strict deadline, and there may be less development structure. Nevertheless, the agile approach is the preferred methodology when new changes are required throughout a software project.
Benefits: Agile software development uses iterative releases, which creates greater efficiencies. Software teams can identify and repair defects and align expectations much earlier in the process. As a result, users can appreciate software benefits earlier and enjoy regular incremental improvements.
Disadvantages: Requires close and ongoing interaction and involvement from the client. Additionally, it’s more difficult to predict total project cost and timelines due to the inherently flexible and responsive qualities of the Agile process.
Waterfall Developmental Method
The Waterfall method is a very traditional, strict, and linear model for software development where each phase flows into the next. The sequential phases, which include requirements, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance, each have their own distinct set of goals. Each stage must be fully completed before the next stage begins. This model works best when all of the development requirements are known from the start of the project.
Benefits: The waterfall development method is straightforward to manage and can be used on all sizes of projects. Total Project cost and timelines are more easily predicted because planning is front-loaded
Disadvantages: If changes need to be made on the project or direction, there’s usually no ability to return to an earlier phase. Because of this method’s inflexible structure, it’s usually a slower process.
The PHD Solutions Process
At PHD Solutions, we have customized a hybrid process that combines the best of the results-driven agile process with the proven aspects of a traditional waterfall approach. This process has proven to be a more compact and client-friendly way of working together.
To learn more, view the PHD process or contact us to learn more about our proven approach to successful software development.