A Complete Guide to Software Development 2021

  • Introduction To Software Development

    Software development is the practice of preparing the design and development of software. Software, as we all know, is the essence of technology we see all around our personal and professional life. According to Wikipedia “Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components.”

    The software can be categorized according to what it is designed to accomplish. There are two main types of software: system software and application software.

    SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)

    The SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is a systematic process for building software that ensures the quality and correctness of the software built. SDLC is a structure followed by a development team within the software developing company. It is a  process that aims to produce high-quality software which meets customer expectations. 

    SDLC consists of a detailed plan which explains how to plan, build, and maintain specific software. Every phase of the SDLC life cycle has its process and deliverables that feed into the next phase. 

    The software development life cycle is also known as the software development process.

    Why SDLC?

    The life SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is used so users can see and understand what activities are involved within a given step. It is also used to let them know that at any time, steps can be repeated or a previous step can be reworked when needing to modify or improve the system. Here are the prime reasons why SDLC is important for developing a software system.

    • Foundation: It offers a basis for project planning, scheduling, and estimating
    • Framework: Provides a framework for a standard set of activities and deliverables
    • Observe: It is a mechanism for project tracking and control
    • Visibility: Increases visibility of project planning to all involved stakeholders of the development process
    • Pace: Increased and enhance development speed
    • Reactions: Improved client relations
    • Risk: Helps you to decrease project risk and project management plan overhead

    This is A Complete Guide To Software Development 2021 which involves the process behind software development.  

  • SDLC Phases

    There are 7 phases into which SDLC is divided into. They are as follows. 

    • Phase 1: Requirement Analysis
    • Phase 2: Feasibility Study
    • Phase 3: Design
    • Phase 4: Coding
    • Phase 5: Testing
    • Phase 6: Installation/Deployment
    • Phase 7: Maintenance
  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 1: Requirement Analysis: 

    Requirement Analysis, also known as Requirement Engineering. It is the method of determining user expectations for a new software being developed or modified. In the software development process, it is sometimes loosely referred to as requirement gathering or requirement capturing. Requirements analysis includes those tasks that go into determining the needs or conditions to meet for a new or altered product or project, taking account of the possibly conflicting requirements of the various stakeholders, analyzing, documenting, validating and managing software or system requirements.

    What is the Requirement?

    Software requirement is the ability needed by the end-user to solve a problem or achieve an objective. In simpler words, a requirement is a software that must be capable to meet the expectations of a system or system component to satisfy a contract, specifications, standards or other formally required documentation. In the end, we are looking forward to developing high-quality software that meets customers real need on time and within a budget.

    The greatest challenge is to share the vision of the final product with the customer. It is vital that all the personnel involved in the project must have a general understanding of what the product will look and feel like.

    Here are the objectives for performing requirement analysis in the early stage of a software development project:

    The How: Software engineering task is bridging the gap between system requirements engineering and software design.

    Orthogonal Views: Provides software designer with a model of:

    • system information (static view)
    • function (functional view)
    • behaviour (dynamic view)

    Software Architecture: Model can be altered to data, architectural, and component-level designs.

    Iterative and Incremental Process: Expect to do a little bit of design during analysis and a little bit of analysis during design.

    Activities for Requirement Analysis

    Requirement analysis is crucial to the success or failure of systems or software development process. These requirements should be actionable, documented, measurable, traceable, testable related to classified business needs and opportunities. The requirement should be defined to a level of detail that is sufficient for system design. 

    Conceptually, requirements analysis includes four types of activity:

    • Obtaining Requirements: The process of communicating with users to determine what their actual requirements are. This is also called requirements gathering. 
    • Analyzing Requirements: The process of resolving whether the affirmed requirements are unclear, vague, inadequate or conflicting, and then resolving these issues. 
    • Requirements Modeling: Requirements might be documented in various forms. Most common among that are natural-language documents, use case, user stories, or process specifications. 
    • Review and retrospective: Team members speculate on what happened in the iteration and identifies actions for improvement going forward.

    Requirements Analysis is a team effort that requires a combination of hardware, software, engineering expertise as well as skills in dealing with people. 

    Here are the main activities involved in requirement analysis:

    • Identify customer’s needs.
    • Evaluate system for feasibility.
    • Perform economic and technical analysis.
    • Allocate functions to system elements.
    • Establish a schedule and constraints.
    • Create system definitions.

    Requirement Analysis Techniques

    Requirement analysis helps organizations to ascertain the actual needs of stakeholders. At the same time, it enables the development team to communicate with stakeholders in a language they understand (like charts, models, flow-charts) instead of pages of text.

  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 2: Feasibility Study: 

    Feasibility Study is essentially the test of the recommended system in the light of its workability, meeting user’s requirements, effective use of resources and cost-effectiveness. Feasibility tests are conducted, when we try to evaluate the feasibility of the idea. This test helps us to determine whether the solution deemed to accomplish the requirements is practical and workable in the software. 

    The core purpose of the feasibility study is to discover the reason for developing the software that is accepted by the end-users, can anticipate any change and conformable to establish standards. 

    Objectives of the feasibility study are listed below  

    • Helps you to investigate whether the software will meet organizational requirements. 
    • To determine whether the software can be implemented using the current technology and within the specified budget and schedule.
    • To determine whether the software can be integrated with other existing software.
    Types of Feasibility Study
    1. Economic feasibility: Economic feasibility revolves around the fact that the required software is capable of generating financial gains for an organization or not. It involves the cost incurred on the software development team, estimated cost of hardware and software, the cost of performing a feasibility study, and so on. For this to make sense it is essential to consider expenses made on a purchase like buying hardware and other activities required to carry out software development. It is also important to acknowledge the benefits that can be achieved by developing the software. Software is said to be economically feasible if it focuses on the issue listed below.

    Software is said to be economically feasible if it satisfies the below statements. 

    • The cost incurred on software development to produce long-term gains for an organization.
    • The cost required to conduct full software investigation (such as requirements elicitation and requirements analysis).
    • Cost of hardware, software, development team, and training.

    2. Operational feasibility: Operational feasibility evaluates the degree to which the required software performs a series of steps to solve business problems and user requirements. It depends on the software development company or development team and involves visualizing whether the software will operate after being developed and be functional once it is installed.

    Operational feasibility also performs the following tasks. 

    • Determines whether the problems anticipated in user requirements are of high priority.
    • Determines whether the solution suggested by the software development team is acceptable.
    • Analyzes whether users will adapt to new software.
    • Determines whether the organization is satisfied by the alternative solutions proposed by the software development team.

    3. Technical feasibility: Technical feasibility evaluates the prevailing resources such as hardware, software and technology, which are required to accomplish user requirements in the software within the allocated time and budget. Software development team ascertains whether the current resources and technology can be upgraded or added in the software to accomplish specific user requirements. 

    Technical feasibility also performs the following tasks. 

    • Analyzes the technical skills and capabilities of the software development team members.
    • Determines whether the relevant technology is stable and established.
    • Ascertains that the technology chosen for software development has a large number of users so that they can be consulted when problems arise or improvements are required.

    4. Organizational feasibility – Whether the proposed system is consistent with the organization’s strategic objectives?

    5. Social feasibility – Whether the problem is solved without causing any social issues? Whether the system will be acceptable to society?

  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 3: Design: 

    The Design Phase attempts to develop detailed blueprints that emphasize the physical solution to the user’s information technology needs. It describes how the system will fulfil user requirements. In this phase, the systems design functions and operations are described in detail, including storyboards and screen layouts with annotations, business rules, process diagrams and other documentation. The product of the design phase helps us describe the new system as a collection of modules or subsystems. The functional, support and training requirements are translated into preliminary and detailed designs. 

    Decisions are made to discuss how the system will meet the functional requirements. A preliminary (general) system design, emphasizing the functional features of the system, is produced as a high-level guide. Then a final (detailed) system design is produced that expands the design by specifying all the technical detail needed to develop the system.

     The Design Phase consists of the following:

    • Choosing an appropriate Database Management System (DBMS)
    • Establishing system security standards
    • Interface Design
    • Data Capture Requirements
    • Standards for printed report production
    • System navigation methods
  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 4: Coding: 

    With the completion of the design phase, most of the major decisions about the system have been made. The goal of the coding phase is to translate the design of the system into code in a given programming language. For a given design, the aim of this phase is to implement the design in the best possible manner. This phase affects both testing and maintenance enormously. A well-written code reduces the testing and maintenance effort. Also, since the testing and maintenance cost of software is much when compared to the cost of coding the objective should be to reduce the testing and maintenance effort. 

    The coding phase is one of the longest phases in the software development cycle. In this phase, developers write their own sets of codes. Then these sets of codes are merged with other developer’s codes and made sure that all the modules developed with different developers interact and sync seamlessly with each other as expected.

    There are a few pointers that we need to keep in mind while in this phase. 

    • Version controlled application is required in this phase. 
    • Spend some time on selecting development tools, which will be suitable for debugging, coding, modification and designing needs. 
    • Define some standards before you start coding, as multiple developers would be working on them. 
    • Write appropriate comments, during this stage, so that other developers come to know about the logic behind the code. 
    • Conduct regular team meetings so that you can identify bugs in an early stage. Helps in the development of a good product and keeps the coding quality in check.
  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 5: Testing:

    Once the software development is completed, it is deployed in the testing environment. The testing team starts testing the functionality of the entire system. This is done to verify that the entire application works according to the customer requirement.

    During this phase, QA and testing team may find some bugs/defects which they communicate to developers. The development team fixes the bug and send it back to QA for a re-test. This process continues until the software is bug-free, stable, and working according to the business needs of that system.

  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 6: Installation/Deployment:

    On completion of the testing phase and successful examination of a bug-free system, the final deployment process starts. 

    The objective of the installation or deployment phase is to make the software developed, functional in a live environment. This activity should only be done when the software is fully tested and accepted by the firm in the testing phase. 

    Pointers to keep in mind when in the deployment phase. 

    • Deployment schedule and phase in which the deployment is planned. 
    • Benefits for the users when using this new system. 
    • Educate the users of the functionality of the new software, if it is an updated version of old software. 
    • A proper channel of communication should be maintained if you are providing support after the sales.
  • SDLC Phases

    Phase 7: Maintenance: 

    The maintenance phase is the “end of the beginning,” so to speak. The Software Development Life Cycle doesn’t end here. The software must be monitored constantly to ensure proper operation. Bugs and defects discovered in production must be reported and responded to, which often feeds work back into the process. Bug fixes may not flow through the entire cycle, however, at least an abbreviated process is necessary to ensure that the fix does not introduce other problems also known as a regression.

    Once the system is deployed, and customers start using the developed system, the following 3 activities occur

    • Bug fixing – bugs are reported because of some scenarios which are not tested at all
    • Upgrade – Upgrading the application to the newer versions of the Software
    • Enhancement – Adding some new features into the existing software
  • SDLC Methodologies

    The system development life cycle, known as the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is the industry-standard approach to managing phases of software development. Several different SDLC methodologies are used today to guide professionals through their project-based work. There is flexibility within the SDLC. In recent decades several different models and methods have gained popularity. 

    Consider one of the following six approaches when establishing an SDLC in your organization.

    1. Agile 
    2. Waterfall
    3. Iterative 
    4. Spiral
    5. DevOps
    6. V-shape
    Agile Model: 

    The Agile model has been around for about a decade. The agile model believes that every project needs to be managed differently and the existing methods need to be tailored to best suit the project requirements. Rather than handling requirements, design, and testing as large consecutive steps, an agile model makes them all ongoing processes that demand involvement from developers, management, and customers. 

    In the Agile model, “fast failure” is a good thing. The approach produces ongoing release cycles, each featuring small, incremental changes from the previous release. At each iteration, the product is tested. The Agile model helps teams identify and address small issues on projects before they evolve into more significant problems, and engage business stakeholders and get their feedback throughout the development process.

    Work is typically broken into 2-4 week segments known as “sprints,” in which the response teams tackle the major needs of their customers and perform testing as they go. Agile tends to work well in small organizations, especially startups, where speed and flexibility are essential.

    Waterfall Model:

    The waterfall model is the oldest and most straightforward of the structured SDLC methodologies. It is also referred to as a linear-sequential life cycle model. This model involves a rigid structure that demands all system requirements be defined at the very start of a project. It’s also a very straightforward approach: finish one phase, then move on to the next. No going back. Each stage relies on information from the previous stage and has its project plan. The waterfall is easy to understand and simple to manage.

    The downside of Waterfall is its rigidity. This model doesn’t work well if flexibility is needed or if the project is long term and ongoing. Sure, it’s easy to understand and simple to manage. But early delays can force off the entire project timeline. This process is strictly documented and predefined with features expected to every phase of this software development life cycle model. With little room for revisions, once a stage is completed, problems can’t be fixed until you get to the maintenance stage.

    Iterative Model:

    The iterative process starts with a simple implementation of a subset of the software requirements and iteratively enhances the evolving versions until the full system is implemented. Instead of starting with fully known requirements, you implement a set of software requirements, then test, evaluate and pinpoint further requirements. At each iteration, design modifications are made and new functional capabilities are added.

    Advantages of the Iterative model over other common SDLC methodologies is that it produces a working version of the project early in the process, and makes it less expensive to implement changes. One disadvantage: Repetitive processes can consume resources quickly.

    The iterative approach shares many of the same goals as the agile model, except external customers are less involved and the scope of each increment is normally fixed.

    Spiral Model:

    One of the most flexible SDLC methodologies, the Spiral model takes a lead from the Iterative model and its repetition; the project passes through four phases over and over in a “spiral” until completed, allowing for multiple rounds of refinement. 

    This Spiral model is a combination of the iterative development process model and sequential linear development model i.e. the waterfall model with a very high emphasis on risk analysis. It allows incremental releases of the product or incremental refinement through each iteration around the spiral.

    The Spiral model is typically used for large projects. It enables development teams to build a highly customized product, and incorporate user feedback early on in the project. Each iteration starts by looking ahead to potential risks and figuring out how best to avoid or mitigate them.

    DevOps:

    The DevOps methodology is the newcomer to the SDLC scene. As its name suggests, the premise of DevOps is to bring development teams together with operational teams to streamline delivery and support. Updates to products are small but frequent. Discipline, continuous feedback and process improvement, and automation of manual development processes are all trademarks of the DevOps model.

    DevOps is the union of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s capacity to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.

    The advantages of such an approach are that changes become more fluid, while the organizational risk is reduced. Teams must have flexible resources for a DevOps arrangement to succeed.

    V-Shaped Model:

    The V-model is an SDLC model where the execution of processes happens sequentially in a V-shape. Also known as the Verification and Validation model, the V-shaped model grew out of Waterfall and is characterized by a corresponding testing phase for each development stage. The V-Model is an extension of the waterfall model and is based on the association of a testing phase for each corresponding development stage.

    The v-model has a very strict approach, with the next phase beginning only when the previous phase is complete. This lack of flexibility and higher-risk method isn’t recommended for small projects, but the v-model is easier to manage and control. 

    This model is useful when there are no unknown requirements, as it’s still difficult to go back and make changes. For projects where requirements are static and clearly stated, and where early testing is desired, this approach can be a good choice.

     

  • Top Software Development Trends

    The software industry is one of those sectors of present times that witnesses a continuous change in its practices because of the growing software technologies. 

    Software developers are used to keeping themselves updated with the latest software and IT trends of their industry. The same is with the businesses that get software development services from the software development company.

    In 2020, the global IT industry had to face some setbacks in terms of overall revenue. As of August 2020, the research consultancy IDC projected global revenue of $4.8 trillion for the year. However, the IT sector proved better than many other industries during the pandemic, but it was not immune to cutbacks in spending patterns and delay of major investments.

    The technology industry is on pace to reach $5 trillion in 2021. If this number holds, it would represent 4.2% growth, signalling a return to the trend line that the industry was on before the pandemic.  

    Every year advancements and restructuring in software product development technologies are changing existing trends. The business of new software technologies like cross-platform app development, blockchain development, machine learning, etc. is getting enhanced worldwide constantly.

    Trend 1: The Mixed Reality

    Mixed reality is the blending of twin technologies of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). AR has won a great mass of growth over the years and the credit for this solely goes to its integration on smartphone apps. 

    The popularity of smartphones is the only reason why software development companies are scrambling to invest in their own AR application. These software development companies are also hiring AR developers in large numbers. Unlike its twin technology; VR, AR apps do not need hardware with the latest specifications.

    Microsoft’s HoloLens’s mixed reality tech is used by the US Army for military training. Apart from them, since 2017, Walmart has been using virtual reality headsets in its training centres called “Walmart Academies”—Walmart has used the technology to improve the employee experience, better assess workers’ skills and present new ways of training staff.

    Trend 2: Artificial Intelligence

    It’s a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but it’s not because artificial intelligence (AI) is being overhyped — it’s because modern technology is finally powerful enough to make AI tools a reality. Whether through deep learning, machine learning or broader artificially intelligent applications, organizations are depending on AI to radically transform their industries.

    Artificial Intelligence improvises business tasks and makes them simple. It has provided the web app developers brilliant support to experiment. This has made AI reach healthcare, banking, education, mathematics, etc.

    The latest AI research shows 86% of businesses currently collecting the benefits of the better customer experience through AI, and 25% of companies with widespread AI adoption expect to see the tech payout in increased revenue during 2021. The pandemic has uncovered the value of AI, lending itself to enhancing tasks related to workforce planning, simulation modelling and demand projection.

    Trend 3: IoT

    Internet of things covers the broad categories of devices that are connected to the internet. These applications have expanded to both the customer and industrial domains. In the area of safety and customer experience, IoT is witnessing exponential demands. From Bluetooth trackers to smart microwaves, internet-connected devices are no longer relegated to computers and cell phones. As technologies like 5G begin to roll out, more devices can take advantage of better wireless bandwidth and power efficiency, bringing to life new and exciting possibilities for the future of IoT.

    According to Juniper Research, the number of connected IoT devices, sensors and actuators will reach over 46 billion in 2021. This 200% increase, from 2016, will be driven in large part by a reduction in the unit costs of hardware.

    Trend 4: Progressive web applications

    The hybrid of mobile and web applications are known as progressive web applications. They are easy to develop and maintain which has drawn many mobile app development companies to primarily focus on them in the past few years. They are completely different from regular mobile applications. These applications can be loaded quickly even with low internet speed. Their script called service worker is an integral part upon which they majorly work.

    Websites offer the convenience of being accessible from any browser or device but are unable to take advantage of platform-specific hardware to reach top performance.  Conversely, native apps can fully embrace the hardware and software capabilities of their native platform to reach their maximum potential but are only available on the platform they were developed for.

    The emergence of progressive web apps finds the sweet spot between performance and availability by offering app-like experiences in the browser. Progressive web apps package new web technologies into a solution that makes it easy to create powerful web-based tools that can run on any platform. Major companies like Google and Adobe are already committed to developing progressive apps as they herald a new era of web development technologies.

    Trend 5: Blockchain

    Blockchain technology is unquestionably one of the most talked-about technologies in the software environment. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum would have not come into existence without the introduction of this technology. Blockchain is finding growing attention in media and publishing, banking and finance, and healthcare software development services.

    Blockchain is one of the latest developments in technology, and software developers are finding new and interesting ways to implement it. Blockchain-based apps known as dApps, short for distributed apps, are emerging as a popular option for developers looking to create decentralized and secure open-source solutions.

    Trend 6: Language Trends

    With the introduction of software technologies, languages and frameworks are also introduced simultaneously to program them. JavaScript and its various frameworks are widely used by Full Stack Developers. It has excellent adaptivity for hybrid applications.

    In order to avoid consequences at the end of a software development project, a business should select the most optimum language for programming them at an initial stage. You can judge the popularity and benefits of various languages through statistical data.

    In the latest survey by Stack Overflow, Node.js was found to be the most popular framework followed by Angular and React. These are the frameworks of JavaScript that clearly depicts its preference. 

    JavaScript topped the list of programming languages, giving one more piece of evidence of its amazing popularity. 

    One can easily choose which languages are gaining a vast market and use them according to your needs. Businesses can utilize this information to plan their annual custom software development projects. 

    Trend 7: Low Code Development                                                     

    Low Code Development is just like building lego structures by a software development company. Low code developments remove the requirement of complex codes. This does not require expertise and help clients to grasp their software project conveniently. This, in turn, allows them to customize their software in their own way, on their own.

    This acts as a crucial tool for companies that are planning for digital transformation. However, this does not imply that it is an ideal coating practice. This solution is a bad choice if businesses require complex and structure solution. 

    Trend 8: Cybersecurity

    In today’s times’ cybersecurity is a concern to all. Now that we are so habituated to do everything online, security is a must. Can you imagine your life without security at your home or road or workplace? Probably no because security is an essential parameter of human life. This issue spreads to the business world as well. Software loss and threats are becoming the primary concern to check by custom software developers.