The Art & Science of Software Development

Software development is a broad discipline that covers multiple platforms, devices, programming languages, software development processes and other considerations. It’s an art – you need a creative mind and artistic passion to build good software. At the same time, it’s a science with all the methodologies, paradigms, languages, and sets of rules and restrictions.

To understand the art and science of  software development is to be a master of future. Because the future we’re headed towards is the one where we need software development at every twist and turn of our life – from health monitoring on smartwatches to running servers for hosting our websites.

As Wikipedia defines it,

Software development is the process of computer programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications and frameworks resulting in a software product.

Let’s break down the whole process in this article. We’ll keep this short, don’t worry!

The software development process

Repeated failures make good software developers. What do they fail at? Choosing the wrong processes.

  • There are many ways to do things in software development. Knowledge of which one will be fastest and least resource-consuming comes from experience.
  • Based on the kind of software being developed, there are many different software development methodologies you can pick from. You need to research for this.
  • Writing and maintaining the source code is the reason we need the right software development process.
  • The most used frameworks are waterfall, spiral, agile, and prototyping. Programming paradigms, however, are not dictated by these frameworks. They have their own set of rules and regulations.

Identifying target users, needs, and demographics

You can’t make something if you don’t know who will use it.

  • There’s a need for a software. Sometimes you figure out these requirements and thus the idea is converted into an opportunity. However, most of the time you have to make your own opportunities.
  • You first do surveys and researches and based on the information, we enter the planning stage. Knowing your target users and software demographics is very important to make a software that sells wide.
  • The software development process makes sure the need of the software is met by the users.

Planning and designing

You know what you want. You just don’t know how to achieve that output.

  • Software development is all about giving desired output.
  • Planning and designing a software means working out the frameworks, basic principles, and workflows that will be needed for the software to provide good end results.
  • Planning happens when you have enough information about client’s requirements. You analyze every thing and make a rough design about how the software will be developed.

Software testing, debugging, and documenting

Software testing, debugging, and documenting are three big factors that play an active role in making the software great.

  • Software Testing shall be performed at every break point of the software development process. Once built, software shall be run under different conditions with different input on different machines to find out errors and other run-time problems.
  • Debugging means correcting the errors found at the software testing phase or by users. Debugging constantly over the duration of software usage by clients or users is important to develop trust.
  • Documenting is very important. If you don’t use proper comments within your source code, or don’t provide document files and manuals explaining how-to along with your software, the users will be discouraged from actively using your software. This is bad for business.

Deployment, marketing, finance, and maintenance

The final stages are perhaps one of the most important ones in the software development process.

  • Deploying the software and earning feedback shall be your prime aim once you’re done with software testing and debugging.
  • Marketing your product, it goes without saying, is very important to have a great reach and exposure, especially for software meant for general use.
  • Financial considerations are made at the final stage. How to develop further, how to support maintenance, etc.
  • Maintenance over the duration of the software’s run is important. This is also necessary for perfecting the software as technologies advance and also to create trust for your brand.

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