Software Development Services

Designing software to market to your audience can be a pretty daunting task, even if you're familiar with how the software development process works. If you have a solid idea for a software product and have assessed your audience's needs and wants, the next step is to find a software creation team that can work with you through all of the steps of the software development life cycle. Outsourcing your software development needs allows you to work on the marketing and broad overview of the product while it's in development. It's an intensive process, but undertaking a software development project without adequate experience can sometimes result in lost profits or a less-than-ideal service. The best software dev team will sit down with you to outline the project's life cycle from start to finish, and are open to making changes based on the needs of the audience.

To take a closer look at the relationship between software developer and the client, let's talk more about the software development life cycle.

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What Is the Software Development Life Cycle?

SDLC, or the software development life cycle, is divided up into six different stages. There's a lot of back and forth about what each stage is called and what it entails, but in its simplest form, it consists of:

  • Step 1: Analysis and Planning
  • Step 2: Design
  • Step 3: Development
  • Step 4: Testing
  • Step 5: Deployment
  • Step 6: Support and Maintenance

All of these steps are integral to the efficiency of the final product. Without one of these stages, the final product might miss the mark or overlook a core functionality. To create the best product for you and your customers, software development needs to undergo testing at each stage to stay on track to meet the end goal.

Let's take a closer look at each section:

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Analysis and Planning

Sometimes called the Ideation stage, the first step in the software development process is to assess the purpose of the software and create an idea of what the final product will look like. During this process, the developers meet with the client to discuss how the software product should account for the pain points of the users.

For example, if you have a SaaS product aimed at marketing firms and freelance marketing specialists, the software has to solve a problem they experience on the daily. This might be creating a bookkeeping/tax tool for freelance marketers who struggle with writing off their business expenses. Or, it could take a more focused approach on a certain issue, such as analyzing website performance.

In the Analysis and Planning stage, each party should clearly understand the end goal of the product as well as the pain points that need to be fixed.

Other aspects of this stage include:

  • Acknowledging quality assurance requirements
  • Assessing technical and operational feasibility
  • Identifying risks and future pain points
  • Planning for economic impact
  • Making a specific, attainable development plan

More so than any other stage in the process, Analysis requires complete alignment between the developer and the client. This is where goals and expectations are set, and provides not only the roadmap for the project, but builds the relationship between the developer and the client.

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Design

Once the requirements of the software are written in stone in the Software Requirement Specifications (SRS), the developers can start designing the product architecture. The architecture is essentially a list of ways to go about creating the software. Multiple different architectures are created and consider the following software design principles:

  • Risk assessments
  • Modularity
  • Resource allocation
  • Budget
  • Time constraints

The two main product architecture structures used are modular and integral. The modular approach separates the core functions of the software into modules, which function individually of one another. Collectively, the modules interact to create the desired final product.

The integral approach is much more complex, and focuses on the functions of the software as a whole as opposed to separate modules. Integral architecture designs are more difficult to build, but make it easier to update and support the finished product. Once multiple product architecture plans have been detailed, the developers and the clients will decide on an approach that best satisfies budget and timeframes, as well as accounts for all the necessary functionalities and details.

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Development

This is the meat-and-potatoes stage of the SDCL. Using the product architecture as a guidebook, coders will begin building out the software. The coding language is defined in the product architecture, and will vary based on the kind of software being developed.

While development is the all-hands-on-deck stage of the process, it can be accomplished fairly quickly. All the relevant details are laid out in the design document specifications (DDS), so the build is the least time-intensive part of the process. Without that guidebook to help the coders, the development stage would not be as smooth or fast.

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Testing

Once the product takes form, it will undergo rigorous testing. Typically, the coders will work on debugging and testing the product or individual modules as they work on them in the development stage, but the testing phase is where all high-level issues are discussed and fixed.

During this phase, developers will conduct a series of specific tests that help target issues that were overlooked in the development stage. These tests might include:

  • Quality Assurance Testing
  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Acceptance Testing

Sometimes, the testing phase is the longest part of the SDLC. Developers will determine if each function of the software works properly, if the system as a whole is efficient, and if the software is ready for release.

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Software Deployment

The deployment phase is where the software actually hits the market. This stage will vary depending on the goals outlined in the analysis and planning stage. Sometimes, the software is released in its entirety, other times it's sectioned out and given to real life users in a process known as user acceptance testing.

The feedback gathered from users will help determine if the product needs more development or if it's ready to be let loose.

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Maintenance and Supporting Software

Even though the software underwent rigorous testing, the first few months after it's been released are the most critical in updating and maintaining the software. While most user scenarios can be accounted for during the testing phase, sometimes the unexpected happens.

The developers will keep a watchful eye on the software as more and more people start to use it, and they will schedule regular updates to ensure the software is in the best working order.

What Makes a Good Software Developer Team?

  • A group of unique individuals with different approaches to software projects who can combine their efforts to create the best possible product.
  • A communicative team that values everyone's insight and takes into account the needs of the client and the audience in every step of the development process.
  • An adaptive team that can customize product architecture and development processes based on the needs of the client and the audience. This includes proficiency in multiple coding languages and a firm grasp of high-level development concepts.
  • An efficient team that can accommodate product release dates and budgetary constraints while still producing a satisfying software product.

Software Development FAQs

How long does the software development process take from start to finish?

It all really depends on the scope of the project, how many functionalities it will have, and what the timeline is. Smaller projects can take a few months, while larger projects might take anywhere from four to twelve months.

What do I, the client, need to provide in order to start a project?

To start a project, you'll have to have a clear sense of the goals you want to meet with the project, the primary and secondary functionalities of the software, as well as information on the target audience. Other, more logistical details we'll need are budget and time constraints.

How do you ensure product quality both before and after launch?

During the development process, we conduct rigorous testing on the software to ensure it's in line with our goals and performs the necessary functions outlined to us at the start of the project. After launch, we update and maintain the software as well as patch any bugs or inconsistencies uncovered by users.

Can you work from a project started by other developers or remodel a legacy software?

Yes. While the process looks a bit different than if we were building a project from the ground up, we are equipped to finish third-party programs as well as modernize outdated software.

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