Atma Xplorer

Xploring Games, Computing, Photography

Stages of Software Development

Software development is a complicated process that requires careful planning and execution. Huge projects like games, operating systems and full fledge applications takes months if not years to develop. The reason why most of these products work or fail is due to it’s development process (although I’ll admit that there are instances that they fail because they plain suck). Now I’m not one for making good introductions so if you’re a novice developer, read on. You may pick up a few stuff:

1. Analysis

Ask yourself:
What input your project needs as input? Does it need names, numbers, or values?
What is the output that the project should give? How should the output be displayed? Who should use the program?
These basic questions will form the guidelines in which you?ll be referring to throughout the stages of development.

2. Planning

If you decide to start off with little or no planning at all, chances are you’ll end up with a linear development path, ergo trial and error. While you may be able to pull it off and complete your project, chances are you?ll end up spending more time troubleshooting than you did when coding the whole thing.
As I?ve said in the introduction, software development is a process and you simply can?t move on to the next step without completing the one before it. Proper planning will help you determine trouble spots you?ll have when coding, implementing, maintaining and upgrading your software. Given the amount of time it requires to produce a model of your project (basically a UML), you should try consulting people and resources that you think might help in developing your software.

3. Modeling

Focus first on the backbone processes of your system. Try to emulate what functions or methods are necessary to complete the basic flow of your software project and generate an output. At this point, you should decide whether to implement everything with classes or not. Class implementation can be time consuming, especially for large projects, and is probably the most difficult aspect of programming at times which is why many novices shy away from OOP. Using classes all keeps your code neat and easy to read, saving you hours of frustrations in maintenance and troubleshooting.
Additional features can be added after you?ve completed the essential sections of your project.

4. Research

Choose the platform you wish to implement your software. Several factors like OS compatibility, the overall budget of the software from development to launch as well as maintenance, reliability, portability etc, depends entirely on what language you will be using. Some languages are best suited for one type of job while others are not. Be flexible to adapt what language suits your project better than what you are more comfortable with.
Your choice of platform should include other details like databases, web servers etc. Make certain that they fit your project?s purpose and can withstand the load/s it will receive.

5. Coding

If you?re part of a group and you chose to create the project with OOP, everyone can work on a part of the software, thus saving time for troubleshooting. Compilation of works can be done either at the very end or at every functional block of the program. I suggest completing the working first before changing it?s looks to make it more appealing.

6. Testing and Optimization

More often referred to as “debugging,” testing uses the Use Case entries of the UML. In simple terms, you simply use and re-use your program with on a give ?case? and figure out if things are working properly. If you see things are working perfectly, check for any part of the software where slow-downs and inconsistencies occur. You can release demos and beta versions to the public and have the users report any bugs and/or complaints they have with the project. It also serves as advertising of sorts.

7. Launch

Make sure that your client is knowledgeable about the full workings of the project by giving a brief. Although it is easier to go with a silent launch, with the software simply slipping into the market, it?s better for both your client and probable customers if information about it is made available. Make a site about the software and provide FAQs and customer support.

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Comments ( 6 )

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  1. issai September 3, 2007 Reply

    i bet you read the book “Code Complete”… very very handy for programmers, i only lasted a few pages, lack of time…

  2. sylv3rblade September 3, 2007 Reply

    Close.. O-reilly’s series for software development on e-books. Also, it’s one of the few things that really gets stuck with you after several failed projects XD

  3. Weebo September 4, 2007 Reply

    Hey! Just saw your article up on WriterDatabase.com! Great info! Keep the great posts coming!

  4. sylv3rblade September 8, 2007 Reply

    Thanks for adding me to the carnival XD

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