Introduction To Software Development
Don't worry, your computer screen is not malfunctioning, we are just saying hello in the language of software. The gamut of software in today's world is pretty big, don't you think? After all, we all spend most of our daytime (and a lot of night-time too!) on our smart devices and on each of these devices we’re always busy with use some or the other application or software.
Just imagine how a simple mobile phone as well as a simple laptop can be a powerhouse of growth for your business – if only you know how to build a well-integrate software for it. To do that, you need to know about Software Development, especially corporate software and mobile app development, to be successful.
That's what we are going to tell you about today. Learn the what, why and how of Software Development and of course, why it is crucial for your business. Hope on the code wagon - we are going for a ride.
How many software applications do you think you use in a day? If you feel not many, allow us to give you a refresher, the melodious alarm in your phone waking you up on time - a software. Keeping up with world gossip on Instagram? You are using software. Clicking the #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) selfie? Using a camera software. Reading this piece of content on a browser? Yes, you guessed it right - software! From operating systems and spreadsheets to mobile apps and games, you interact with software every time you use a computer or a smartphone. Yes, software is way more integral to your life that you can even imagine.
Think of software as a bridge between computers and the homo sapiens using them. Using various Software Development techniques, humans create this software with the help of data and programming instructions that inform the computer how to do specific tasks.
Let's learn a thing or two about the mystical process of Software Development.
What Is Software Development?
As the name suggests, the process through which a programmer creates computer software in an organized manner is known as Software Development. Most of us don't understand that this procedure involves not only the writing of code but also the creation of requirements and objectives, the design of what code will be written and verification that the code has fulfilled the objectives...these software developers have a busy life!
To make things even better, some software developers follow this thing known as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which is a systematic method for producing high-quality, low-cost software in the quickest time feasible. #SDLCForLife
Want to know how it all started? Let's walk down history lane and learn about the fascinating history of Software Development.
History Of Software Development
Love the modern technology that you benefit so much from? You can thank Tom Kilburn, a computer scientist, for creating the world's first piece of software that was launched at 11 a.m. on June 21, 1948, at the University of Manchester in England. This software used machine code instructions to conduct mathematical calculations.
In 1958, in an essay about computer programming, statistician John Tukey coined the term "software" for the first time. Over the next two decades, more ground-breaking programming languages such as Cobol, BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), Pascal and C started spreading like wildfire.
With the introduction of personal computers in the 1970s and 1980s, software became a major business. First, Apple's ground-breaking product, the Apple II, was launched to the public in April 1977. Then, VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet software for personal computers, was a huge hit and was dubbed "the killer app" for the Apple II. Other firms, such as IBM, quickly joined the market with computers like the IBM PC, which debuted in 1981. In the mid-1980s, many important software programs were released, including AutoCAD, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
After the 1998 publication of the source code for the Netscape Navigator browser, which was mostly built in C and C++, interest in open-source software exploded. Sun Microsystems released Java in 1995, which is also a remarkable addition to the history of Software Development. With the debut of the iPhone in 2007, it was time for mobile computing to shine and sure enough, the number of mobile applications skyrocketed. Using software languages like Swift and Java, mobile apps have become a key component of Software Development.
It's not possible to learn the entire process of Software Development by reading one article but we can surely give you a glimpse of how it works.
How Does Software Development Take Place?
Developing software typically involves the following steps:
Choose A Development Methodology
Choosing a development methodology provides a foundation for implementing Software Development stages. It defines the project's overall work process or roadmap. Agile Development, DevOps, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Waterfall are some of the many methodologies that you can choose.
Understand The Requirements
In the next step, you collate all the requirements for the software and understand what the users and other stakeholders are expecting from it.
Select A Development Architecture
Program architecture is the foundational framework that the software will run on. Your software architecture could stem from a blackboard approach, client-server approach, multi-layered approach, or you could opt for a microservices architecture among others.
Plan The Software Design
In this step, you create a design based on the challenges posed by requirements, which frequently involves using process models and storyboards
Build A Model
Now you will perform an early validation, prototyping and simulation of the design, creating a model that employs a modeling language like SysML or UML.
Once you have a model ready, your next step is to start coding in the programming language that is suited for the task. It's best to involve peers and teammates to share their views and help identify problems to generate high-quality software.
Test Your Code
It is a risky move to launch software without testing it. Thus, checking your application for any quirks and errors must be the next step after your software is ready.
Time To Launch
Now that your software is ready and tested, finally, it's the moment of truth. You deploy your software to the world and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Congratulations!
Now that we have some idea about how Software Development works, let's delve a little deeper into different Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models.
Various Software Development Life Cycle Models
Falling one droplet at a time, the waterfall development model is the grandfather on this list, i.e., a very traditional SDLC model. It involves a linear and sequential process with definite goals for each development step. This development approach offers no iterative or overlapping phases; therefore, it is loved by people who prefer scheduled tasks. The waterfall has one disadvantage in that it does not allow for much modification.
Rapid Application Development (RAD)
Taking a page out of Ebenezer Scrooge's life with “no fun, all work” approach, this Software Development model is founded on the idea that you can build high-quality products at a faster rate by employing workshops or focus groups on obtaining the system requirements; prototyping and iterative testing of hypotheses; being devoted to the schedule and minimizing the need of formal communication in the team by removing tasks such as reviews. Sounds fun, right?
Agile Software Development is an approach focused on the notion of iterative development, in which requirements and solutions emerge from cooperation among self-organizing cross-functional teams. Agile development's ultimate benefit is that it helps teams deliver the product faster, with higher quality and predictability as well as with better ability to adapt.
Joint Application Development (JAD)
As the name suggests, this development method requires effort from both the developer and the client. Through a series of collaborative workshops known as JAD sessions, this approach includes the client or end-user in designing and developing an application.
First, you make a model, perfect it and then mass manufacture it - that's pretty much the gist of the prototype model development method. In this approach, a prototype (an estimate of a final system) is created, tested and revised as needed until an acceptable prototype is achieved, from which the entire system or product may be developed.
In this Software Development method, multiple teams develop many application modules simultaneously. The code of each team is regularly synchronized and stabilized during the Software Development process. Kind of like how a team of scientists, astrophysicists and mathematicians worldwide synced and stabilized their data to capture the first image of the black hole. #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork
Exciting stuff, so far, isn't it? Next, let's do a bit of abracadabra and gaze into the future of Software Development.
Predictions For The Future Of Software Development
While we can't predict the exact future of Software Development, here are few trends that will surely impact the industry in some big and small ways...
A Boom In Technological Innovation
The first 500 million applications were created over 40 years. The following 500 million will be made in only four years.
By the year 2025, the number of internet users will have increased by more than 50% and as a result, they'll be able to do custom Software Development faster and cheaper than ever before.This will allow software to be developed faster, especially through the use of low-code or no-code tools.
The Reign Of Smaller Applications Is Coming
Size does matter because software eating up the entire disk space is no longer acceptable when it comes to software. The next generation of bite-sized apps have already replaced traditional applications with heavyweight bundles. These programs rely on microservices, which interact via APIs (Application Programming Interface), to function. Brace yourself because microservices are coming.
New Programming Languages For Quantum Computing
We know quantum computing is not really a new subject; however, it will fundamentally alter the way we live in the next ten years. In some situations, a quantum computer can accomplish a lot more than a traditional computer and to leverage that kind of computer programming power, new coding languages are being developed.
Summing It Up
Our reliance on software applications continues to grow as we move into the new era of automation and mobile apps. As a result of today's technological advances, organisations should engage in Software Development in order to remain competitive. Mobile applications and websites are only a small part of what software solutions and development entails. It's about doing business the way you want, using information technology to your advantage the way you like it. Isn't that what technology is all about?
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