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Software Development - A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Software Development - A Comprehensive Guide for 2023
09/03/2023 57

Today, the world is rapidly evolving digitally. Technology is fast changing, and with that, software application development is also experiencing swift transformation. Tools and apps that were hugely functional a few years back are redundant now. With the emergence of AI, machine learning, and automation, every sphere of human activity is affected by technological development. Industries in every sector are developing software to augment productivity. From real estate to the healthcare industry, and from government to the education sector, all businesses are using software to address the specific and general needs of their trade.

If you are a business owner, perhaps you are already using different software to make your organization run efficiently. It is also important for an entrepreneur to remain updated on the latest trends in the software industry so that his business can adapt to the new changes swiftly and economically. In this article, we will help readers understand the complete software development process step-by-step. This article can be used as a software development guide by those who plan to leverage the power of technology for their business growth.

What is Software Development?

In simple terms, software development is the process of designing, creating, and maintaining computer software or applications. It involves writing code in programming languages such as Java, Python, C++, or others to build software applications that can run on different platforms, such as desktop computers, mobile devices, or web browsers.

The software development process typically involves several stages, including planning, designing, coding, testing, and deployment. During the planning stage, developers work with clients or stakeholders to understand the requirements for the software application, including its functionality, features, and user interface. They may also conduct research to identify similar software applications in the market and gather insights into user behavior.

The software development process also involves conceiving, documenting, implementing, and maintaining the applications, frameworks, and components of the software.

The most common types of software developed to address different issues are:

  • Custom software: Software that is developed to meet the requirements of a specific client, business, or organization.
  • Open Source or Commercial Software: It is developed as a package that addresses the wide range of needs of some specific set of users.
  • Personalized Software: Developed for addressing personal requirements.

Types of Software Development

Based on the functions software performs, we can also categorize it into 6 basic types:

1. Web development

Web development involves building web applications and websites that can be accessed through a web browser. This type of software development typically involves using programming methodologies and languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as frameworks such as Angular or React.

2. Mobile development

Mobile development involves building mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. This type of software development typically involves using programming languages such as Java or Kotlin for Android development, or Swift for iOS development.

3. Desktop development

Desktop development involves building software applications that can be installed and run on desktop computers or laptops. This type of software development typically involves using coding methods/languages such as C++, Java, or Python, and frameworks such as Electron or Qt.

4. Game development

Game development involves building video games for various platforms, such as desktop computers, mobile devices, or gaming consoles. This type of software development typically involves using game engines, that include Unity or Unreal Engine, and programming languages such as C# or C++.

5. Cloud development

Cloud development involves building software applications that can be deployed and run on cloud infrastructure such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. This type of software development focuses on developing solutions using Java, Python, or .NET and cloud services such as databases, storage, or compute resources.

6. Embedded development

Embedded development involves building software applications that are designed to run on specific hardware devices, such as IoT devices, medical devices, or automotive systems. This type of software development typically involves using programming languages such as C or C++ and specialized tools and frameworks for embedded systems.

Apart from these six primary software development types, there are a few more, such as database development, front-end, and back-end development, that a client/user can opt for based on their specific requirements.

Importance of Software Development for Businesses

The software can help skyrocket the growth of your business and make the processes simpler. There are multiple reasons why industries are relying so much on software development. Below, we have listed a few of the reasons why software development is important for businesses.

1. Find problem-specific solutions

Nowadays, most businesses are engaged in the customized software development process that can address specific problems of the business. All big companies have their IT department ready with full-stack developers who can develop software that caters to the day-to-day needs of the business.

2. Automation

Be it bill generation, client data management, or retailing products, the software is revolutionizing how businesses are done. Automation is making most of the processes efficient and effective for achieving higher growth. This also reduces the chances of human error, which resulted in heavy losses.

3. Increase visibility among clients

Most businesses in the post-pandemic era have shifted to digital platforms. Various software and applications are helping these businesses skyrocket their sales by enhancing brand visibility. With proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in place, businesses can help improve their online visibility, attract more organic traffic to their website, and increase their chances of converting leads into customers.

4. Security

The booming fintech industry across the world can offer its services due to the security that software provides. The software developers are developing solutions that offer high-end security for all our digital transactions. Similarly, e-commerce sites are also utilizing software for enhancing the security of their domains and web services against cyber-attacks.

5. Engage customers efficiently

Marketing software enhances customer engagement. The software has reduced the response time of client service departments. Because of software, businesses can interact with customers 24/7 and engage them faster. Software development also allows businesses to chalk out on-the-go marketing plans within limited time, money, and resources.

7 Stages of the Software Development Process

Now that we have discussed the basics of software, let’s talk about the software development process. Like any other project, a software development project follows a process. In this process, the software or application is initially ideated. After conceptualization, requirements are identified and analyzed. This is followed by the phase of designing and development. Finally, testing is done and errors are fixed before the software is deployed and made available on a public platform. This process through which software is conceptualized, developed, and maintained is called the Software Development Life Cycle, or SDLC. In other words, the software development process entails the complete software development life cycle. SDLC is a framework that defines various activities that are performed at each phase of the software development process. There are 7 key phases in the software development life cycle. No matter which methodology we adopt, every software must go through these seven phases from the time of conceptualization to launch.

  • Planning
  • Requirement Analysis
  • Design
  • Implementation and Coding
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance

Let us understand these phases in detail here. A client who has an application requirement will look out for professionals and agencies who can develop the application for him. Once the client hires a custom software development company, meets the project manager, and signs the contract, we move on to the first phase.

1. Planning requirements

This phase outlines the requirements of the application. Here, the client defines the features and usability of the application for the IT team. Each software project is unique based on its end purpose. In this phase, product requirements are gathered from the customer’s perspective, and a mutual understanding is reached between the project manager and the client. The output of this phase is a mutually agreed requirements document or original outline. Throughout this course, multiple iterations of the SDLC will take place, and new requirements and features will be added.

2. Requirement analysis phase

Here, the team of operations, developers, product owners, and testers will analyze the requirements in the outline and provide details on how the software will be developed. The team will discuss feasible solutions, output, input, and resource allocation in the project. The complete project may also get distributed into small achievable assignments to team members. This phase outlines how the team will translate the client’s requirements into the features and functionality of the software.

3. Design

Once the requirements are established with its features, the work moves on to the design phase. Here, all the requirements are considered, and the team starts to plan a product. In this phase, the product is modeled, keeping in mind the business rules, user interface layout, and color scheme. Decisions are made regarding programming languages to use, frameworks, system server design, database relationships, the architect of the application, mobile aspects, supported browsers, etc.

4. Implementation and Coding

During this phase, the operation team will set up the physical hardware for the servers, the developers will start writing the code, designers will plan the user interface, and testers will start analyzing the design. They also start building test cases for their test plans. Testers start reviewing the usability of the application and checking how everything works in coordination. They also discover the errors and help reform the fundamental flaws in the early stages of the application.

5. Testing

Testing begins once the developers have finished coding the application. This phase is important for identifying bugs and errors. This phase is also responsible for ensuring the security of the application. Testers will check the servers; ensure the database is set up and the application is working as per the requirement. They verify that the final product has not deviated from the original test plan. Testers also validate that all requirements have been met, all features are working, and all errors have been debugged. This is an extremely critical phase since testing leads to the detection of more bugs. These bugs and errors are reported to the bug-tracking system. Developers are assigned the task of fixing these issues. Once the issue is fixed, developers send the product back to the test team. This process of finding bugs and debugging is called a bug lifecycle. This ensures the final product is flawless.

6. Deployment

In the deployment phase, the operation team will stage the product that has been tested. In this phase, the final application is ready for production. This means setting up the link and database for users so that customers can start using the product. Once deployment is done, the application goes live.

7. Maintenance

This is the last stage of the SDLC. The final product, which goes live, is monitored to ensure that the user interaction with the product is seamless and the system is working properly. A huge part of this phase is product support, where the software developers usually respond to client queries and complaints. Once the product is deployed, new errors may surface. Developers fix these bugs to resolve issues related to the application.

Software Development Methodology

Depending on the project size or requirement, a software development company may take different approaches. The software development methodology is an approach selected in the software development process. Some of the key points regarding software development methodology are:

  • The software development methodology is defined as a set of activities and processes that results in the development of a software product or a service.
  • It highlights the tools, techniques, and roles adopted during the process.
  • A Software development methodology is based on how the seven phases of SDLC are implemented.
  • The phases that we discussed above can be implemented by Software development teams in a varied manner depending on their requirements.
  • As already mentioned, the project's requirement and size guide a team to adopt a particular methodology.

Out of the many methodologies that exist, we will discuss the most popular approach used by software developers and engineers across the world.

Here’s why Agile is the Ideal Development Methodology for Most Clients:

While there are various methodologies used for developing software, agile is considered the most popular approach. This is because, in Agile methodology, the project is refined over a period of time. Agile methodology is best suited for those projects where requirements are not defined at the very beginning.

Agile development involves incremental and iterative deliveries. This can be called a multiple-delivery model. Under this methodology, the work is done in multiple iterations so that we can go on to refine the project until we identify the requirements properly.

Initially, the requirement for a short section of the project is identified. This small section or module is then designed and developed. After testing, this module is deployed. Based on customer feedback, the next phase of the work starts. The iteration continues for the complete project.

Let us take an example of website development to understand iteration. Initially, the website is created with a considerably basic framework. With time, the website is refined, and the final product is delivered after iterations until all customer requirements are met.

Also, developers can continue to deliver small portions of the project from time to time. It indicates incremental development and delivery. Here, the IT team delivers the application with functional features that customers can use. Then they go on to add new features in increments, which continue until the final product is delivered.

To sum up, the Agile method adopts incremental delivery and team collaboration due to continuous planning and learning. The agile method breaks the product into small incremental builds, and customers do not need to wait till the end of the project. Here gaps can be filled with an incremental approach.

What makes it work?

  • Improves efficiency by identifying and fixing defects early.
  • Realizes software benefits earlier with incremental development.
  • Less risky as we only develop small parts.
  • Gives better results and improves efficiency.
  • Flexible methodology as frequent changes are possible.
  • Good for smaller projects because quick testing is possible.

Latest technology in software development

In this section, we will discuss the latest technology in software development that is trending and will greatly influence businesses in the coming year. Technology refers to the use of knowledge for the benefit of human society, and over the years, it has enhanced the well-being of the masses. With time, software development is being used to address global challenges and make life easier for us.

Here are the 10 trending software development technologies of 2023 that businesses should look out for:

1. Cloud System

Cloud computing continues to be a highly trending technology, even in 2023. The process of automation provided through continuous integration and delivery is offering businesses the chance to build a whole software development pipeline based on the cloud. Companies are migrating to the cloud for all IT-based requirements. Through cloud computing, businesses can adopt the resource allocation process and reduce expenditures.

2. Artificial intelligence (AI)

The advent of ChatGPT and its popularity among the masses clearly show that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the buzzwords in 2023. AI enables the building of smart machines that can think and act like humans. Siri, Alexa, and Google voice search are some of the popular AI services. Along with AI, AI as a service, also called AIaaS, will become more prevalent this year. AIaas is a third-party offering AI services that helps individuals and organizations conduct AI experiments at a low cost. Companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are using AI as a core technology.

3. Extended reality

It includes augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. Major industries like entertainment, marketing, and design are profiting largely from extended reality frameworks. As per the research, the extended reality market is set to grow exponentially in the coming years.

4. Robotics & Automation

Robotic process automation is rapidly automating jobs. Today automation is being used even to reply to our emails. As per the data from Forrester Research automation will take over 800 million jobs till 2030. By automating repetitive tasks, businesses are making the work process more efficient. Python, Matlab, problem-solving, mathematics, and machine learning are core robotic skills that will be in high demand because of automation.

5. Blockchain

Going beyond cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is revolutionizing every industry, from banking to healthcare. The benefit of a decentralized digital ledger is quite relevant as far as the security of the data is concerned. This technology monitors and saves data at several locations, which makes forgery difficult. Companies like HSBC, Walmart, Pfizer, and Barclay's are using this technology to implement a more decentralized ledger.

6. Quantum computing

This technology uses the principles of quantum physics like quantum entanglement and superposition to do simulations and calculations that are not possible on a normal computer. Programming, mechanics, algorithms, scientific computing, and mathematics are the core skills required for this technology.

7. 5G

5G networks are slated to have more than 1.7 billion global customers by 2025. Major players like Samsung, Nokia, and Cisco are anticipating growth in the number of people using this service. With greater speed in transmission, 5G will allow us to enjoy advanced technologies based on augmented reality, virtual reality, and cloud-based gaming services.

8. Cyber security

Even big companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo are unable to escape cyber-attacks. The fact that most data today is shared on digital platforms, and the rise in the number of cyber-attacks across the globe raise serious concerns. This is a reason why cyber security will remain a technology where we will see more research and development in the coming days.

9. IoT

The Internet of Things is quickly becoming popular among consumers for its ease of access and usage. But at the same time, it is also benefiting businesses by improving customer service, enabling better safety, and increasing profits. IBM, Mindtree, and GE Digital are a few companies getting involved with IoT.

10. Edge computing

Edge computing is a distributed computing pattern that processes data closer to where it is generated. Edge computing saves time and bandwidth. This is important for the success of IOG and 5G companies.

Get Tailor-Made Software Development Solutions

The technologies mentioned above are revolutionary and, with time, will become a deciding factor in attaining growth in any business. But as software technology continues to evolve, it is also crucial for businesses to locate experienced software development agencies that can offer quality work and, at the same time, cater to the diverse software development needs of their businesses.

Owebest Technologies is a reputed name in the industry as a software development solution provider. We have helped companies from different sectors with our software development services, which have helped them build a bigger customer base, gain higher growth, and establish more efficient processes. Here is a quick highlight of our top on-demand software development services:

1. Website development & design

In the post-pandemic era, websites have become an important tool for branding and creating a digital presence. Websites are also the repository of all the information that a business would want to circulate about its brand and solution. Today, websites have become digital addresses vis-a-vis a business’s physical offices or stores. Our experienced team of content developers, UX-UI designers, and backend developers are better suited for our clients' needs for several reasons, including creating high-quality content that is engaging as well as informative, and designing intuitive and visually appealing user interfaces that enhance the user experience on our clients' websites.

2. Mobile app development

Along with web apps, mobile applications have become the biggest trend in the technology market. The Google Play Store and App Store are testaments to how mobile applications are making services handy and available to customers at the click of a button. Be it social media, OTT, or e-commerce apps, businesses are getting more mobile-friendly with each passing day. Our developers have years of experience developing mobile apps using tools such as Buddy, Kobitton, and Jamf.

3. Cloud computing services

This is the most flexible and economical means of availing computer system resources such as servers, database storage, software, networking, along with analytics and intelligence. This is also one of the most popular technologies that industries are demanding to scale up their businesses. This service is also highly demanded due to its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, protection against data loss, and security. On a side note, we focus on providing SaaS application development services that fulfill the specific needs of our customers.

4. Blockchain development

Our company helps you install, host, and maintain the blockchain network. Blockchain is a trending technology that allows the development of decentralized software with traceability and transparency of data across the business network. Businesses of all sizes are adopting this technology, especially startups that deal with large data silos.

5. E-learning App development

Today, faster learning and top-quality lessons are available to students from the comfort of their homes. E-learning apps offer entertaining educational material to students for an accelerated understanding of the subject. These apps offer learning flexibility and an interactive UX-UI that allows students to easily communicate with teachers. These apps need to be dynamic to address changing requirements of students rapidly. We develop Learning Management Systems (LMS) that enable higher collaboration, offer responsive design, and are easily customizable.

6. E-commerce Development

Today, e-commerce apps and websites are negating time or geographical boundaries, allowing products to reach their target customers. Our in-house developers can easily help you develop an E-commerce site for product listing and seamless payment gateway integration that can greatly augment your access to a large list of audiences beyond your physical outlet.

7. B2B Portal development

5G networks are slated to have more than 1.7 billion global customers by 2025. Major players like Samsung, Nokia, and Cisco are anticipating growth in the number of people using this service. With greater speed in transmission, 5G will allow us to enjoy advanced technologies based on augmented reality, virtual reality, and cloud-based gaming services.

8. Digital Marketing

From building quality backlinks to augmenting social media presence, and from landing pages with a high conversion-rate to Google ads, Owebest has a highly experienced team of digital marketers who are ready to do the research and build the network that your business needs in the digital world.

9. OTT Platform development

As per the recent estimate, the global entertainment industry is expected to grow by 6.65% during 2022 - 2027. The OTT platforms are offering people the freedom to select the shows they wish to consume at reasonable prices without compromising the quality. The mainstream OTT platforms are now steadily giving way to OTT platforms that cater to the needs of viewers based on their choice of content. We offer a futuristic OTT development technology that offers content developers, video creators, directors, and distributors to stream their content seamlessly.

10. Salesforce development

We also have in-house experts who know about salesforce development. Our programmers build Salesforce applications across a variety of platforms. Salesforce can help businesses build efficient marketing and sales processes. Salesforce is one of the biggest customer relationship management platforms that offers integration with different apps. It offers you a better insight into the customer’s journey at every stage of the sales funnel.

11. Custom software development

Other than the services mentioned, Owebest has a full stack development team that can design, develop, deploy, and maintain software as per the specific needs of your business. We have highly qualified professionals with years of experience. Our goal is to become a one-stop solution hub for a vast range of software-related services. Our services support unique business processes, upgrade, or replace existing technological solutions, and provide the best upcoming technological solutions to our clients.

Technology will continue to evolve, and entrepreneurs will have to continue to learn about these technologies. Understanding how to develop software is a need of the hour. If you plan to hire a software development agency or SaaS development company, you must know what you are getting into. Remember, an informed client can offer better guidance to any collaborating partner developing software.

We have been helping businesses adapt to and incorporate new technologies into their work processes. We offer a 360-degree solution to all your software development needs. You can also visit our webpage to learn more about the services that we offer.

We hope this article helped you better understand the software development process. For any software development-related queries, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to respond to your inquiries.

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