So, many of you must have the question “what is software development” in your mind right now. Well, you are in the right place.
In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of software development and some tips to build a successful software business. Follow our guide, and you’ll see things won’t be too tough.
Understand software development
When it comes to software development, there are some essential concepts you need to keep in mind.
What is software development?
In plain words, software development involves all the tasks that bring a software project from conception to production delivery. IBM Research clarified this definition: “Software development refers to a set of computer science activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software.”
Software development is often conducted by software developers, software engineers, and programmers. These roles can overlap, and the dynamics between them can vary across development departments and communities.
There are three basic types of software:
- System software: Offer core functions like operating systems, disk management, utilities, etc.
- Programming software: Give programmers tools such as text editors, compliers, linkers, debuggers, and other tools to create codes.
- Application software (apps): Help users perform specific tasks, for example, media players, security programs, data management software, etc.
Software development life cycle
Software development life cycle (SDLC) is a process model that comprises six different software development phases: (1) requirement analysis, (2) design, (3) implementation, (4) testing, (5) deployment, and (6) maintenance.
- Requirement analysis: Gather all the requirements about the software from stakeholders. What features should be included? How should it look like? How should it behave?
- Design: Choose the programming language and the database that best suits your project.
- Implementation: Code the software.
- Testing: Testers run test cases, find the bugs, and ask developers to fix them.
- Deployment: Once the code is approved, put it on live.
- Maintenance: Fix bugs and update the software to ensure it works well all the time.
Want to learn more about SDLC, read this: Software development life cycle (SDLC) — Guide for Business.
Software development process
There are the five most commonly used software development processes. You should understand each of them to see their differences and choose the right one for your business.
- Waterfall: This is the most traditional software development process. In this process, you follow the SDLC step by step. In other words, you finish a phase before moving to the next one.
- Agile and Scrum: This is a dynamic approach to the software development process. You and your team will build and release the software in “Sprints” of 2 weeks to 2 months.
- Incremental and iterative: This process is a combination of Waterfall and Agile, meaning it has an organized structure and flexibility.
- V-shaped: This process is quite similar to Waterfall and but focuses more on testing. Each phase includes strict testing and validation step.
- Spiral: This process includes four phases, that is, planning, risk assessment, development and validation, and result evaluation.
Agile methodology in software development
Aigle is a modern software development process. It’s a big game-changer that provides a complementary management methodology.
The idea of Agile is that software should be developed and delivered incrementally, and requirements should change during the development process. Agile also facilitates communication among team members and encourages face-to-face connections.
By adopting Agile software development, your team can become flexible and adaptable to changes. They’ll work more effectively and ensure the software will be on live on time.
Tips for efficient software development
The following tips are useful for running your software development business successfully. It’s up to you to build a friendly work environment and help your team improve their performance.
1. Clear work environment
A clean work environment will help your team reduce stress and anxiety, leading to an increase in productivity and satisfaction.
Follow these tips:
- Add pleasant decorations to the room. They can be some paintings, wallpapers, pictures, or inspirational posters on the wall.
- Hire cleaning workers to clean out the office space regularly.
- Ask team members to organize their desks at the end of each day.
- Provide storages and boxes to place stuff that your team doesn’t often use.
2. Organize priorities
Knowing what’s urgent to do and what you can do later is crucial. It takes a lot of time, effort, and headaches to create software, so if you can set priorities for everything you have to do, it’s beneficial.
Follow these tips:
- Create a list of tasks and set priorities for each of these tasks, from urgent to least important. Arrange time appropriately to ensure you have enough time for all critical tasks.
- Alert your team members to complete the highest priority tasks and follow the plan.
- Take advantage of applications on mobile devices to keep track of your timeline.
3. Plan the development process
Don’t jump immediately into coding without planning the process. Many software development teams spend hours in front of whiteboards before starting to code. It’s the key to control the workload and timeline.
Follow these tips:
- Choose the right programming language and the proper database.
- Determine patterns at the beginning and write modular code to simplify the process.
- Break tasks into smaller ones and assign them to your members.
4. Avoid overworking yourself
Working in the tech industry, you may be familiar with crunch time. It’s unavoidable and also the most exhausted-brain activity. However, there are some solutions to help you prevent your team from overworking and improving performance.
Follow these steps:
- Create break times to ensure your team can be relaxed during the workday.
- Encourage members to stand up to stretch at their desks or walk around every so often.
- Don’t require overtime because it can kill your employees and eventually, your business.
5. Try out agile development
Applying agile development is effective for productivity because it helps your team focused on one task at a time. Hence, they can estimate a timeline accurately and meet specific short-time deadlines. This is different from when you work with a traditional team that handles various aspects of the product at the same time.
6. Clean up the technology mess
Software development isn’t just about knowing how to make software and using programming languages. It’s also about choosing the right frameworks and technological platforms. By knowing what you should do and limiting the technology stack, you can focus on the core of your product.
Don’t apply technologies that have nothing to do with your product or don’t help you maximize efficiency. Choose wisely, or you’ll end up with a mess.
7. Transform the culture
Gones are the days when programmers just knew how to make software. They now have many ideas that can help your business grow and thrive. On the first day of working in your company, a software engineer can offer you a brilliant idea of making the product better, which you may ignore.
Hence, as a business owner, you should transform your company culture in a way that encourages all members to contribute ideas and speak their opinions. If anyone wants to say something, let them talk.
8. Make developers think of business logic, not just code
When you make a transformation in your business culture, you may want to change your developers’ mindset. You may want them to think outside of the code and develop a business mindset. Although this approach isn’t easy to implement, it’s good for all.
When developers know a bit about the core business behind the software, they can expand their perspectives. For example, they’ll know what the company is heading and how they can improve features to meet end-users’ needs. From that, they can code the software with more purpose.
If you’re putting a software team together to run a software development company, you want to make things easier for your developers. You also want to determine which process and method will bring your business the most success. We hope this article has answered your question “what is software development” and will help you build a knowledge foundation on software development and how to run it effectively.