Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software. That’s the title of a highly acclaimed book, where the author Scott Rosenberg says:
“The only software that’s worth making is software that does something new.”
These words from a non-programmer’s close observations of everything that goes into software development says it all. Modern software development is a complex and ever-changing field. It is ever-expanding as well.
Software Development Growth Potentials
Within this dynamic landscape, field management software has emerged as a crucial component for businesses seeking efficient operations. As enterprises increasingly recognize the need for streamlined processes, custom software developers specializing in field management solutions are playing a pivotal role in shaping the industry's trajectory.
Custom software development services have become increasingly crucial in meeting the unique needs of businesses in the dynamic mobile app industry. Collaborating with experienced custom software developers ensures that your app is not only tailored to your specific requirements but also optimized for success in a market set to generate $935 billion in revenue by 2023.
As you venture into mobile app development, understanding the value of skilled professionals in custom software development services can significantly impact the overall cost and success of your app.
What Is Software Development?
How does that great combination happen, though?
IBM says that the term “software” collectively refers to programs that instruct a computer on what it needs to do. The set of activities that go into “creating, designing, deploying, and supporting software” constitutes the software development process.
The popular jargon to refer to this entire process is: Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Types of Software
From the perspective of the functions they perform, software is classifiable into three categories:
- System Software relates to the most fundamental functions of a computer. Disk control, hardware managing, operating systems, other operational requirements, and utilities all come into this category.
- Programming Software enables computer programmers with tools like compilers, debuggers, linkers, text editors, and so on. These are the tools necessary for code generation.
- Application Software: More popularly known as apps, these are tools meant for the users. Typical examples are software for data management, media players, anti-virus and other security programs, etc.
When venturing into custom software development, it's essential to choose the right team of experts. Custom software developers play a pivotal role in tailoring solutions to meet specific business needs, whether it's creating a unique mobile app or implementing specialized embedded software for IoT devices. As diverse as applications like Microsoft Office are, the expertise of custom software developers becomes particularly crucial in ensuring seamless integration and optimal performance across various platforms.
Software Development Overview
There are different schools of thought for just about anything in software. That includes the SDLC (software development life cycle) stages. Some say there are five stages while others say there are seven.
As a software development company with enviable expertise and experience, our own understanding is, SDLC involves six distinct stages. An understanding of these six phases in the SDLC process helps the efficient execution of the project at hand.
Stage # 1: Software Development Planning
Planning for IT software development is a rigorous process. Some experts refer to this phase as the requirement gathering stage. A software developer must first get a firm grip on the needs and expectations of the client.
These needs and expectations get chronicled in a document known to developers as the SRS: Software Requirement Specification.
The other side of the planning stage is the plotting of how to deploy financial and human resources, the timeline, etc.
Some prefer to break this phase into two steps because of these dual aspects of planning.
Stage # 2: Designing and Prototyping
During this phase, a software development partner maps out a probable solution based on the SRS. The technical term for that is a prototype. A prototype helps the client to understand how the software will work.
Prototyping software architecture before actually developing it helps in receiving early feedback. That facilitates taking effective technical decisions.
Stage # 3: The Coding Stage
This is when the prototype gets developed and polished into the required software with optimal functionality. Through coding, developers build software based on the design. This stage also gets referred to as the software development stage, therefore.
Stage # 4: The Testing Stage
Testing helps in fixing any defects that might remain in the software. Testers are the main people involved in this phase. They, however, frequently need to communicate with developers to seek clarifications and give feedback.
Testers assess coding quality and performance. Also, the extent to which the code matches the SRS. Testers look for evidence of applying secure coding principles as well.
Testing and retesting continue until the software reaches optimal functionality to match customer requirements.
Stage # 5: Deployment
This is the stage where the new software first faces User Acceptance Testing (UAT). If the customer is happy, the software gets installed into the relevant computer system or website.
Complex projects sometimes need new software to be integrated with other existing software. The deployment stage, thus, consists of the implementation and integration of newly-developed software.
Stage 6# Operations, Maintenance, and Ongoing Support
During this phase, software experts keep watching for any bugs or defects that might appear. That helps early correction. It is also customary for quality software development agencies to coach the personnel at the client organization to get accustomed to the new software.
Software Development Models: A Synoptic Overview
Over the years, different models for software development have evolved. Designers and developers apply these models during the SDLC. Each model has its pros and cons.
The Waterfall Model
This is a model based on the structured programming approach where software development happens sequentially. One component at a time, that is. If something goes wrong with one component, it affects the timeline of the remaining process as a result.
A variation of the waterfall model is RAD (Rapid Application Development), where the emphasis is on applying reusable components.
Progressive Development Models
Software developers apply these models in situations where the customer is not entirely clear about their requirements. The development process is iterative to facilitate the gradual emergence of software functions.
Several models fall into this category. Typical examples are:
- Fountain Model
- Incremental Model
- Prototype Model
- RUP (Rational Unified Programming) Model
- Spiral Model
- XP (Extreme Programming) Model
The application of any of these models requires extensive experience and a high level of software development expertise. Mastery over risk management is particularly critical.
Component Development Models
In the models of this category, requirement analysis guides the software design. The method for software development is component-based assembly. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Model Driven Architecture (MDA) are two typical examples.
Best Practices And Future Trends
It is difficult to pinpoint what is “best” in a field characterized by constant change. However, it is possible to identify some of the key lessons learned over the years.
- Agile is a popular software development approach, mostly applied during the coding and testing phases.
- Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning have resulted in a paradigm shift in software development.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP) has evolved to be an important element for software developers to consider.
- REST Apis appears to be bowing out to GraphQL.
- There is an emergence of low- or no-code software development.
- IoT (Internet of Things) is likely to emerge stronger as 5G connectivity spreads.
- Several new authentication methods for protecting sensitive data are already in the market. Voice recognition software is an example.
So, What’s Next For You…
We hope this in-depth software development guide will help you make some informed decisions quickly. The enterprise software development needs that have been bugging you for some time, for example.
Take a call now. You have enough in your repertoire to ask the right questions. Let the responses guide you on which software development company to hire.