Do you believe you have an app idea that can take the world by storm? That’s great! There are plenty of resources available that can help you bring your vision to life.
However, it’s still no easy task.
If you’re getting ready to go down the software creation route, you’ll need to know the software development process before you get started. Below are seven of the critical steps to take when creating custom software.
The first step in the software development process is planning. Every good project starts with a plan, and without one, the project can’t move forward. The plan should be a living document that can evolve as the project progresses and changes, but it should have a specific goal for completion in mind.
Your plan should tell you your cost, skill requirements, and deadlines for execution and delivery. You can use either a carefully prepared project plan or a spreadsheet to help you get your project’s vision on paper.
You can also use your planning time to make sure you’re working on the right thing. You can identify and define the product or service that you will be delivering and make changes to the plan as necessary once your idea is validated.
2. Analysis / Requirements
Once you have your plan, you need to look at the problem you’re trying to solve. You can “break down” the problem into smaller parts and use those parts as your requirements. These requirements will help you determine the specifications of your solution.
The first step of this process is to talk to customers. Your customers are the people that are who are most likely to buy your products and services. Try using surveys or interviews to get the information you need from customers.
Once you learn what your customers want, you can create a minimum viable product (MVP). You should design your MVP to satisfy customers’ needs with as little work as possible. You want to avoid building extra features that you think will be important but not vital to your software’s launch.
The software design phase is where you take the requirements and create your solution. During this process, you should have a good idea of what will make the product easy to use.
This is the point when you build the “blueprint” for your product. You can use wireframes, mockups, and other methods to capture how your product will look when it’s complete.
The design phase also introduces you to the coding or programming process by creating detailed software specifications. It should tell your developers what the software should do and all the different steps your users will take during the customer journey.
After you have your design and specifications, you can begin coding your product. This phase typically takes the longest since you must follow the design specifications as closely as possible to make sure your product works exactly how you want it to.
There will also be a lot of back and forth between the stakeholders and the programmers during this stage. This process ensures developers create a product close to your vision the first time.
Many teams follow the agile methodology and test-driven development (TDD) during this process. This is an iterative and incremental approach that develops one feature at a time to ensure each part of your software works as intended.
If your development team, like the ones at Qualitylogic.com, took the TDD approach to create software, much of the testing process is already complete. However, there is still a lot of testing that needs to be done.
The first testing phase is usability testing. You need to make sure your product is easy to use and does what you originally intended it to do. This means going through every screen of your app to make certain things look right, and all your functions work.
After this phase, you can begin the process of user acceptance testing (UAT). This is where users will be able to test your product before it goes live. With UAT, users will be able to see if their feedback was taken into consideration and make improvements before the product goes live.
After the software testing phase, you can begin deploying your product. You might have to wait for the software to be approved by your customers and stakeholders before you can start using it, but after this point, the product is yours.
If your product is simple, it might only be a matter of setting up a web server and installing your program files there. The biggest deployment hurdle will be making sure your web server can handle traffic loads once things begin to grow.
If you have a more complex application, things are going to be a lot more complicated. You’ll need multiple servers, databases, load-balancing, and several other potential systems to handle your software integration needs.
Your job is never complete when you create software. As time goes on, customers will request new features. You’ll need to give people what they want if you want to compete in the market.
There’s also no such thing as a bug-free program. You’ll need to provide on-going bug fixes to make sure customers are happy with your product.
Maintenance also includes making sure everything is up-to-date. You want to make sure all your servers are working correctly and that you’ve upgraded any operating systems or software, so it runs as fast as possible.
Security issues also arise in the pre-built software that your product uses. These updates will ensure you’re utilizing secure software.
Now You Know the Software Development Process
Creating software isn’t an easy process, even for those people who have plenty of experience. However, now that you know how to develop software, you can get started on the software development process the right way. It won’t be easy, so make sure you understand each step, so you can get the software you’re looking for.
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