Jānis Blaus
Jānis Blaus
17 November, 2018

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle

Ever had a software coded and deployed only to suffer multiple technical issues that take weeks to address?

Many companies have suffered from poorly designed software and ended up suffering massive financial damage. In some instances, a bug-filled software may cause the demise of a company.

This is why top software developers have based their practice on the Software Development Life-Cycle or SDLC. The SDLC is a systematic procedure that guides developers through the mandatory steps when working on a software development project. It is a comprehensive framework that starts before the first line of code is written and continues way after an application is deployed. The objective of SDLC is pretty simple; to produce the top quality software at the lowest cost.

The 7 Stages of Software Development Life Cycle

Stop working with a developer team if they rush off to writing thousands of lines of codes the moment they received your requirements. It’s a clear indication that the team does not practice SDLC to safeguard your interest. Even if you’re not technically inclined, it helps to understand the different stages of the SDLC.

1. Planning

There’s an infamous quote by Benjamin Franklin that proclaims “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’. This hit close to home when software development is concerned. The first stage of SDLC has nothing to do with the technicality of the software. Instead, it is about agreeing of the schedule, working out on the cost, assigning resources and if the software is feasible in the business perspective.

2. Requirements

To proceed to the next phase, both software developers and business stakeholders need to agree on a list of the expectations of the software. In short, software requirements need to be established in a clear manner. After lengthy discussions, the software team would have a formal document containing the requirements or tasks to work on.

3. Design

This is where software developers turn requirements into a blueprint or plan of the entire software architecture. A document containing detailed specifications of the software framework will be produced. The specifications typically entailed the proposed framework of the application and selected modules that will be utilized in the development. In some cases, some quick prototyping may also be involved.

4. Software Development

With all the guidelines, specifications and framework established, it’s time for software developers to get right into doing what they do best, the coding itself. Neglecting any part of the previous stages will almost certainly doom a software. Conversely, a meticulously crafted specification will guide developers to complete the software on time and with a superior result.

5. Testing

Deploying an untested software to your users will be foolish. It will only invite a stream of complaints that hurts your business. Every single piece of applications needs to be tested, even if they are produced by the best software developers. Certain bugs may escape the programmers during the development stage. You’ll also want to ensure various modules of the applications are working fine when integrated. Besides that, carrying out a systematic test also exposed any security flaws that risk attacks.

6. Deployment

Eventually, the software will be released to the end users. During the initial phase of deployment, business owners and software developers will need to be ready for any eventual feedbacks from the users and implement improvements as necessary.

7. Maintenance

Software developments life cycle continues even when the users are happy with the software. A capable software development company will monitor the ongoing trend in the industry and suggest related updates and features remain competitive.

Popular Software Development Life Cycle Model

In actual practices, SDLC models are being developed and applied by the software developer community. Of the various models that existed, Waterfall and Agile are two of the most widely implemented. The Waterfall, as its name implied, follow a rigid process structure that moves on to the next phase after the current phase is completed. While the model is pretty straightforward, the flow suffers when there are some uncompleted tasks in the current phase. On the other hand, Agile is an SDLC model that prioritizes a flexible approach rather than a rigid sequence process. It is designed to rapidly proceed to the next iteration after receiving feedback from the relevant clients or stakeholders.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the SDLC model that is being implemented, they bear the same objective of minimizing software development cost while creating high-quality applications. It only becomes worrying when a software development firm does not practice any form of SDLC. Learn more about how Netcore’s approach in software development life cycle could deliver the best software in the shortest time for you.

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